March 2006

Volume 23, Issue 1

An existential model of oral health from evolving views on health, function and disability

Authors: M.I. MacEntee


Objective: This study explores the evolution of conceptual frameworks and models of health and disability to construct an explanatory model of oral health. Results: The International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities, and Handicaps adopted by the WHO is based largely on social role theory and a utilitarian tradition portraying disablement as a negative and socially unacceptable consequence of impairment. It has been the major conceptual influence on the construction of psychometric tools for dentistry. However current views of chronic disease are refocused on the influence of coping strategies used by people to prevent or limit disability and handicap. Consequently, the WHO adopted the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as an alternative description of health and health-related states based on an existentialist view of the body, the person and society. In addition, an ethnographic exploration has identified three major domains of oral health – oral hygiene, comfort and general health - that dominate the opinions of people with oral impairments. Conclusions: Application of the framework and language of the ICF to the major domains of oral health provides the basis for a new biopsychosocial model of oral health, function and disablement. Key words: Dentistry; disability; international classification of functioning; model of health; oral health; quality of life.


Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial - Improving the oral health of young children through an evidence-based approach 2-4 Download
An existential model of oral health from evolving views on health, function and disability 5-14 Download
Satisfaction with the oral health services. A qualitative study among Non-Commissioned Officers in the Malaysian Armed Forces 15-20 Download
Root canal treatment in a population-based adult sample: differences in patient factors and types of teeth treated between endodontists and general dentists 21-25 Download
Oral Health in 8-9 year-old children in Saxony-Anhalt (Germany) and in two Hungarian cities (Budapest and Debrecen) 26-30 Download
Dental caries experience of Kuwaiti schoolchildren 31-36 Download
Dental caries and enamel fluorosis among the fluoridated population in the Republic of Ireland and non fluoridated population in Northern Ireland in 2002 37-43 Download
BASCD Survey report - The dental caries experience of 11-year-old children in Great Britain. Surveys coordinated by the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry in 2004 / 2005 44-57 Download
Short communication - Areca nut use amongst South Asian schoolchildren in Tower Hamlets, London: The extent to which the habit is engaged in within the family and used to suppress hunger 58-60 Download
50th Anniversary Conference on Salt Fluoridation Zurich, 17th October 2005 61-61 Download


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