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Assessment of Psychological Disturbance in Patients with Tooth Loss: A Systematic Review of Assessment Tools

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Zaki Kudsi, Michael R. Fenlon, Ama Johal, Aylin Baysan

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Prosthodontics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

King's Authors


Purpose: To systematically review the available evidence on screening tools to detect the psychological disturbance in patients with tooth loss and technically successful removable dentures (partial and complete). Materials and Methods: The study protocol was registered with the National Institute of Health Research Database (I.D. CRD42017082125). The PICOS tool (patients, intervention, control, outcomes measure, and study design) was used to formulate an effective search strategy. Participants were adults (≥ 18), who were edentulous or had significant tooth loss (< 9 remaining teeth). The intervention included undergoing replacement with technically successful dentures (partial or complete). A control group of adults were either edentulous or had significant tooth loss and without dentures. Outcomes included assessing psychological disturbance due to treatment with dentures or due to no treatment using a validated tool. A structured search strategy was used to complete a standard systematic search of the electronic database without any date limit and/or language restriction. Only quantitative studies using a validated measuring tool to screen for psychological distress in adults with significant tooth loss were included. Two authors independently assessed the risk of bias in the included studies. Data homogeneity was assessed in regards to the screening tools to measure psychological disturbance following the management of tooth loss with dentures. The significant level was set at 0.05, using IBM SPSS Statistics 24.0 (SPSS Inc., New York, NY). The psychometric properties and the validation processes of the screening tools were assessed. Results: From the original 3510 studies identified, only eight studies were found to meet the inclusion criteria. All eight studies used the same questionnaire to screen for the emotional distress of tooth loss. In addition, one study also used the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) to screen for the association of depression with tooth loss. Six studies suggested that a significant number of patients have difficulties in accepting tooth loss, were less confident, and had emotional distress related to tooth loss. However, two studies reported no significant link. All studies found a marked impact on functional activities and social interaction. However, four studies had a potentially biased selection process, and the questionnaire used was assessed to be at high-risk of measurement bias, as the development and validation process was not clear. There was also a lack of well-defined control groups in all studies. Conclusion: Tooth loss could cause psychological disturbance in some patients. To date, there is a lack of available tools that are suitable to screen and measure psychological disturbance in patients with tooth loss. Additional research is required to develop tools to identify and measure such impact and to recommend suitable interventions when needed.

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