Patient satisfaction and perceived improvement in a multidisciplinary TMD treatment model
Alam, Ebtihal M.
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AIM: To evaluate the level of patient satisfaction and the perceived contribution of specific conservative treatment modalities used in the management of Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) at the University at Buffalo, School of Dental Medicine TMD Clinic. METHODS: The study was conducted through a telephone interview of patients at the TMD clinic who were not currently under active treatment. The questionnaire included questions about current and past levels of pain related to their TMD, questions related to satisfaction, and the contribution of specific treatments to the improvement of the TMD condition. RESULTS: Overall, 87 patients were contacted. 42 agreed to participate and 45 declined. The mean age of participants was 45.8 years (SD 15.7 years). There were 3 (7%) males and 39 (93%) females. Of those, 71% were Caucasians, 57% were single and 36% were married, and 45% reported college as their highest level of education. There was a significant difference between average recalled pain level before treatment and current, worst pain in the past month, and average pain in the past month (P<0.005). The overall satisfaction was high; 64% of the participants had high satisfaction with treatment outcome, and 79% had high satisfaction with care. None of the demographic or clinical variables included in the logistic model were by themselves predictive of satisfaction with care. Level of education and the characteristic pain intensity (CPI) predicted satisfaction with treatment outcome. These variables were inversely related to satisfaction with treatment outcome. All types of treatments, except for prescription medications, had reports of high contribution to improvement. CONCLUSION: In general, 64 to 79% of the participants reported satisfaction with care and the particular treatment modality provided. Such purported levels of satisfaction were inversely related to the level of education and characteristic pain intensity. Our data suggests that the most appropriate approach in treatment is a combined multidisciplinary program for the management of temporomandibular disorders that evaluates patient satisfaction as an outcome measurement.