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Summary of: Retrospective examination of the healthcare ‘journey’ of chronic orofacial pain patients referred to oral and maxillofacial surgery

Lookup NU author(s): Emma Beecroft, Professor Justin DurhamORCiD, Professor Peter Thomson


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Objective: To gain a deeper understanding of the clinical journey taken by orofacial pain patients from initial presentation in primary care to treatment by oral and maxillofacial surgery. Design: Retrospective audit. Sample and methods: Data were collected from 101consecutive patients suffering from chronic orofacial pain, attending oral and maxillofacial surgery clinics between 2009 and 2010. Once the patients were identified, information was drawn from their hospital records and referral letters, and a predesigned proforma was completed by a single examiner (EVB). Basic descriptive statistics and non-parametric inferential statistical techniques (Krushal-Wallis) were used to analyse the data. Data and discussion: Sixdefinitive orofacial pain conditions were represented in the data set, 75% of which were temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Individuals within our study were treated in ninedifferent hospital settings and were referred to 15distinct specialties. The mean number of consultations received by the patients in our study across all care settings is seven (SD 5). The mean number of specialities that the subjects were assessed by was three (SD 1). The sample set had a total of 341treatment attempts to manage their chronic orofacial pain conditions, of which only 83 (24%) of all the treatments attempted yielded a successful outcome. Conclusion: Improved education and remuneration for primary care practitioners as well as clear care pathways for patients with chronic orofacial pain should be established to reduce multiple re-referrals and improve efficiency of care. The creation of specialist regional centres for chronic orofacial pain may be considered to manage severe cases and drive evidence-based practice. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Beecroft EV, Durham J, Thomson P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Dental Journal

Year: 2013

Volume: 214

Issue: 5

Pages: 236-237

Print publication date: 09/03/2013

Online publication date: 08/03/2013

ISSN (print): 0007-0610

ISSN (electronic): 1741-7503

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2013.246


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