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J Oral Rehabil. 2010 May;37(6):452-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2842.2009.02058.x. Epub 2010 Feb 11.

Disability assessment in temporomandibular disorders and masticatory system rehabilitation.

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Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA.

Abstract

The consequences of a disease or condition such as temporomandibular disorders (TMD) include functional limitation and psychosocial disability. These two concepts refer to the individual's experience of limitations in function associated with the affected part of the body and to disarray in one's life, respectively. Models of disability emphasize the individual's self-report in describing these states and the centrality of these concepts as part of the disease and illness process. However, assessment approaches typically used in medicine and especially in dentistry do not yet routinely include these domains. TMD, as a musculoskeletal pain condition, can clearly lead to both limitation and disability, and the available evidence suggests that dentofacial disorders can also lead to both consequences. The relatively low contribution of disease impairment (measured changes in function through objective tests), however, to the reported limitation or disability in either TMD or dentofacial disorders remains complex and poorly understood. This article reviews the overall model of disablement, the necessary properties of measures to assess disablement, the present state of knowledge about these concepts, and what measures should be considered as part of routine assessment.

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