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Volume 18 , Issue 3
Summer 2004

Pages 203213

Short-term Clinical Outcomes and Patient Compliance with Temporomandibular Disorder Treatment Recommendations

Anjali D. Wig, BA/Leslie A. Aaron, PhD, MPH/Judith A. Turner, PhD/Kimberly H. Huggins, RDH, BS/Edmond Truelove, DDS, MSD

PMID: 15508999

Aims: To evaluate short-term patient compliance with 5 conservative temporomandibular disorder (TMD) treatments (jaw relaxation, jaw stretching, heat application, cold application, and occlusal splint use) and the association of compliance with changes in pain intensity, pain-related activity interference, and jaw use limitations. Methods: Eighty-one TMD patients were given 1 to 5 treatment recommendations as part of usual care in a TMD specialty clinic. Compliance with each recommendation and pain, pain-related activity interference, and jaw use limitation measures were calculated from electronic interviews conducted 3 times daily for 2 weeks. Results: Median compliance with individual treatment modalities ranged from 7.7% for heat application to 92.7% for jaw relaxation; median overall compliance was 54.8%. Participants with higher initial pain intensity and jaw use limitations were significantly more compliant with their recommended treatment regimen (P  .05). The authors controlled for age, gender, education, and initial jaw use limitations. Overall compliance was associated significantly and positively with 2-week jaw use limitations (P = .03). A trend toward a statistically significant positive association was found between compliance and 2-week pain intensity (P = .09). Conclusion: Compliance varied widely across patients and therapies. Patients with higher initial pain and jaw use limitation levels were more compliant with treatment recommendations. Although compliance was associated with slight increases in pain and jaw use limitations in this preliminary study, further research is needed to evaluate the longer-term effects of compliance with recommended therapies. J OROFAC PAIN 2004;18:203213

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