Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is an aggressive form of tooth decay, and the last national unpublished reports reveal a caries prevalence of 50 % at 4 years of age in children, in the Santiago Metropolitan Region (Soto et al., 2007). The objective of this study is to validate a questionnaire that allows the collection of information related to several caries risk factors in preschoolchildren. For the validation of the questionnaire, the convergence and discrimination validity, the internal consistency and the retest, test reliability of the instrument were determined in two independent samples. The instrument was applied to the main caregiver of 118 preschoolers between 24 and 71 months of age, who attend private childcare centers (low caries risk) and the INTEGRA Foundation childcare (high caries risk) in the Metropolitan Region of Santiago, Chile. Dental clinical examinations were performed by two calibrated dentists using the OMS and ICDAS II criteria. A logistic regression model was estimated and the ability to discriminate the score through an ROC curve was evaluated. The questionnaire showed a validity of discrimination of 0.95 between both groups and of the global question 0.61 and an internal consistency of the questionnaire of 0.72. In the convergence validity, it was found that there is no statistically significant association between the questionnaire score and the dichotomized global question (RE) 1.061. However, it was evidenced that there is a statistically significant association between the questionnaire score and the caries risk group (low and high) (OD) 1.961. Temporal stability by means of Test – Retest comparisons calculated with the Kappa index ranged from 0.37 to 1. Therefore, it can be concluded that the present questionnaire is a valid instrument for discriminating caries risk, allowing a better analysis of the determinants of dental caries in the Chilean preschool population.
KEY WORDS: dental caries, risk assessment, preschool-aged children.
How to cite this article
CANDIALES, Y. ; CABELLO, R.; RODRÍGUEZ, G. ; MARRÓ, L. ; MORALES, I.; URZÚA, B. & SÁNCHEZ, J. Validation of a questionnaire to assess risk of caries in preschool-age children in Santiago, Chile. Int. J. Odontostomat., 12(1):135-155, 2018.