To translate the original English version of Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP) into a Chinese version, to validate the translated instrument for use among the elderly in Hong Kong and to derive a Chinese short-form OHIP. The original English version of OHIP was translated into Chinese. Elderly persons aged 60-80 years were interviewed by two trained interviewers and examined clinically by one of two calibrated dentists. Information on subjects' demographic background and oral health conditions were collected. A total of 586 elderly persons were interviewed and clinically examined. Cronbach's alpha of the translated OHIP subscales ranged from 0.69 to 0.84 and the test-retest correlation coefficient ranged from 0.72 to 0.92. Construct validity of the translated Chinese version was supported by the finding that the OHIP-49 and subscale scores increased as the subject's perceived oral health status changed from healthy to unhealthy. Also, those who had a perceived dental treatment need had higher mean OHIP-49 and subscale scores compared to those who did not. The short-form OHIP derived in this study demonstrated comparable validity and reliability with the full version of OHIP. The translated Chinese version of OHIP demonstrated good validity and reliability. It is available for use by researchers in oral health-related quality of life studies in Chinese elderly populations. In situations where a Chinese short-form of OHIP is desirable, there are now two validated Chinese versions for researchers to choose.