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Challenges in the Clinical Implementation of a Biopsychosocial Model for Assessment and Management of Orofacial Pain

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Matthew Breckons



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Wiley, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Distress, suffering, and care-seeking behavior are characteristics of pain-related disease and illness. Pain that transitions from an acute to a chronic phase carries with it the potential of further effects: these include a worsening of the disease or illness; high-impact chronic pain; and substantial personal, societal, and economic burden. The biopsychosocial model directly addresses these multiple processes, yet clinical frameworks supporting this model are not universally implemented. This paper explores barriers to clinical implementation of a full biopsychosocial framework for temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and other orofacial pain (OFP) conditions. In June 2016, INfORM invited OFP researchers to a workshop designed to optimize the DC/TMD Axis-II. Workshop groups identified five sources of implementation barriers: (1) cultures and societies, (2) levels-of-care settings, (3) health services, (4) cross-cultural validity of self-report instruments, and (5) provider and patient health literacy. Three core problems emerged: (A) mental health aspects are seldom fully considered, thus impairing the recognition of illness, (B) training in use of validated multi-axial assessment protocols is under-rated and insufficiently used, and (C) clinical assessment often fails to recognize that sensory and emotional dimensions are fundamental aspects of pain. To improve patient care, these barriers and problems require action. Most importantly, TMD/OFP educators and researchers need to coordinate globally and (i) be educated in the biopsychosocial model, (ii) implement evidence-based biopsychosocial guidelines for assessment and management of OFP conditions at their institutions, (iii) incorporate this model in undergraduate and postgraduate dental curricula, and (iv) be responsive to stakeholders, including regulatory authorities and practitioners. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sharma S, Breckons M, Brönnimann Lambelet B, Chung JW, List T, Lobbezoo F, Nixdorf DR, Oyarzo JF, Peck C, Tsukiyama Y, Ohrbach R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Oral Rehabilitation

Year: 2020

Volume: 47

Issue: 1

Pages: 87-100

Print publication date: 01/01/2020

Online publication date: 09/08/2019

Acceptance date: 05/08/2019

Date deposited: 19/12/2019

ISSN (print): 0305-182X

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2842

Publisher: Wiley


DOI: 10.1111/joor.12871


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