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Global doctor opinion versus a patient questionnaire for the outcome assessment of treated temporomandibular disorder patients.
PURPOSEAccurately assessing treatment outcomes has become increasingly important for maintaining hospital privileges. When these assessments are based on the judgment of the treating doctor, there is often an inherent positive bias. As a result, there has been increased interest in using patient-based assessments. The purpose of this study was to compare doctor's and patient's assessments of the outcomes of treatment in a series of patients with various temporomandibular disorders (TMDs).
MATERIALS AND METHODSFifty-two consecutive TMD patients were initially given a questionnaire designed to evaluate their pain, problems eating and sleeping, the occurrence of headache and earache, the presence of temporomandibular joint pain and/or jaw stiffness in the morning, and interference with daily activity. The patients then filled out the same questionnaire at each post-treatment visit, and the findings were compared with the baseline information. At each visit, the treating doctor also recorded a global evaluation of the patient's progress as excellent, good, fair, or poor.
RESULTSComparison of the doctor's global evaluation with the patient's evaluation based on the questionnaire showed a discrepancy in 44% of the cases. When there was a discrepancy, the doctor scored the improvement better than the patient 54.5% of the time and worse than the patient 45.5% of the time.
CONCLUSIONSThe results of this study confirm the unreliability of using a global opinion by the treating doctor for outcome assessment in patients with various TMDs.
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.
MeSHActivities of Daily Living
Attitude of Health Personnel
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Reproducibility of Results
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome
Pub Type(s)Comparative Study