Validity of three screening questions (3Q/TMD) in relation to the DC/TMD

A Lövgren, C.M. Visscher, B. Häggman-Henrikson, F. Lobbezoo, S. Marklund, A Wänman

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Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are common but seem to be largely undetected within general dental care. To improve dentists' awareness of these symptoms, three screening questions (3Q/TMD) have been introduced. Our aim was to validate 3Q/TMD in relation to the diagnostic criteria for TMD (DC/TMD), while taking into account the severity level of the symptoms. The study population consisted of 7831 individuals 20-69 years old, who had their routine dental check-up at the Public Dental Health Service in Västerbotten, Sweden. All patients answered a health declaration, including the 3Q/TMD regarding frequent temporomandibular pain, pain on movement and catching/locking of the jaw. All 3Q-positives (at least one affirmative) were invited for examination in randomised order. For each 3Q-positive, a matched 3Q-negative was invited. In total, 152 3Q-positives and 148 3Q-negatives participated. At examination, participants answered 3Q/TMD a second time, before they were examined and diagnosed according to DC/TMD. To determine symptom's severity, the Graded Chronic Pain Scale and Jaw Functional Limitation Scale-20 (JFLS-20) were used. In total, 74% of 3Q-positives and 16% of 3Q-negatives met the criteria for DC/TMD pain or dysfunction (disc displacements with reduction and degenerative joint disorder were excluded). Fifty-five per cent of 3Q-positives had a TMD diagnosis and CPI score ≥3 or a JFLS-20 score ≥5, compared to 4% of 3Q-negatives. The results show that the 3Q/TMD is an applicable, cost-effective and valid tool for screening a general adult population to recognise patients in need of further TMD examination and management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-736
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Issue number10
Early online date30 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


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