The oral health-related section of the interRAI: Evaluation of test content validity by expert rating and assessment of potential reasons for inaccurate assessments based on focus group discussions with caregivers

Stefanie Krausch-Hofmann*, Johanna De Almeida Mello, Dominique Declerck, Anja Declercq, Jan De Lepeleire, Trung Dung Tran, Emmanuel Lesaffre, Joke Duyck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objectives To explore the failure of the oral health-related section of the interRAI (ohr-interRAI), this study investigated test content validity (A.) and reasons for inaccurate assessments (B.). Background Poor oral health negatively affects quality of life and is associated with a number of systemic diseases. The interRAI instruments, internationally used for geriatric assessment, should accurately detect oral conditions that require care. Previous research showed that the ohr-interRAI and related precursor versions do not achieve this goal. Materials and Methods (A.) A group of 12 experts rated completeness, relevance, clarity of wording and feasibility of the ohr-interRAI. Content validity indices were calculated per item (threshold 0.78). (B.) Focus group discussions with 23 caregivers were organized. A semi-structured question guide made sure that all topics of interest were covered. Qualitative content structuring analysis was applied after transcription. Results (A.) Experts agreed on the relevance of the items on chewing, pain, gingival inflammation and damaged teeth. They regarded none of the items as worded clearly and only prosthesis use and pain were considered to be assessable by untrained caregivers. All experts agreed that the ohr-interRAI was incomplete. (B.) Focus group discussions revealed that in the care environment oral health had low priority. Aspects related to the ohr-interRAI itself and aspects related to the assessment situation impeded the oral health assessment. The approach of the caregivers to complete the ohr-interRAI was inappropriate to accurately detect oral care needs. Conclusions Findings challenge test content validity of the ohr-interRAI and reveal reasons for inaccurate assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-394
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • InterRAI
  • Caregivers
  • Focus groups
  • Geriatric assessment
  • Inaccurate assessments
  • Mouth diseases
  • Oral health
  • Test content
  • Validity

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