Family Religiosity and Oral Health Related Quality of Life: a Multilevel Analysis in Brazilian Schoolchildren.

Abstract Religiosity has been associated with a better dental condition and positive self-perception of health, but there are no studies on the relationship between religious practice and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL), especially among schoolchildren. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the association between family religiosity and OHRQoL in 12-year-old schoolchildren. We conducted a cross-sectional study in a representative sample of 12-year-old schoolchildren from Santa Maria, a city in southern Brazil. A total of 1,134 schoolchildren were assessed in a randomly selected in 20 public schools in the city. Participants were examined by 4 calibrated dentists (minimum Kappa-value for intra and inter-examiner agreement were 0.79 and 0.77, respectively) according to dental caries (Decayed, Missed, Filled Teeth Index), and gingival bleeding (Community Periodontal Index criteria). OHRQoL was assessed by the Brazilian short version of Child Perceptions for Questionnaire (CPQ11-14). Parents or guardians answered a structured questionnaire regarding their socioeconomic status and religious practice. Data were analyzed using multilevel Poisson regression analysis to assess the association of religiosity and overall and domain-specific CPQ 11-14 scores. Religious practice less than once a week was associated with higher mean symptoms domain scores and higher mean CPQ 11-14 overall scores in schoolchildren. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that family religiosity was positively associated with schoolchildren’s OHRQoL.