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Journal of Craniomandibular Function



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J CranioMand Func 5 (2013), No. 1     15. Mar. 2013
J CranioMand Func 5 (2013), No. 1  (15.03.2013)

Page 73-89, Language: English/German

Assessment of psychological co-factors in the diagnostics of craniomandibular dysfunction
Ahlers, M. Oliver
The assessment of psychological co-factors is today an integral part of the diagnostics of craniomandibular dysfunction. Particularly in general practice, this has been difficult to implement to date. This article analyzes the causes and indicates possible solutions. The basis for this is the underlying assumption that dentists themselves assume that their patients do not expect to be asked questions on psychological co-factors in the dental practice, and for this reason may feel disconcerted and take objection to this. It can be helpful in the initial stage to pave the way towards acceptance on the part of patients regarding the investigation of corresponding co-factors via the generally accepted criterion of "stress". This can be achieved successfully by means of the questionnaire on stress factors based on the Social Readjustment Rating Scale/Life Event Scale according to Holmes and Rahe. An additional possibility is to conduct and evaluate the questionnaire Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS). The Graded Chronic Pain Scale can be used for the assessment of chronic pain and/ or the distinction between functional and dysfunctional pain; this can be evaluated with the aid of the Chronic Pain Questionnaire with a built-in evaluation system enabling guided evaluation.

Keywords: craniomandibular dysfunction, stress, depression, anxiety disorder, temporomandibular disorder