Locker's (1988) multidimensional model of oral health provides a scientific model for the understanding of oral disease and its consequences. To date, there have been no studies that have explicitly tested the model with empirical evidence. This study aimed to: first, test the model in a general population sample using data from the UK adult dental health survey (N = 5268); and, second, to cross-validate these results in two different and diverse samples--edentulous elders (N = 133) and a clinical sample of xerostomia patients (N = 85). Structural equation modeling indicated support for the model as applied to each of the samples. All of the direct pathways hypothesized by the model were significant, in addition to several indirect or mediated pathways between key variables. Further conceptual development of the model is discussed, particularly the role of individual difference factors, and theoretical and methodological issues in oral-health-related quality-of-life research are highlighted.
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