Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research

Psycho-education programme for temporomandibular disorders: a pilot study

Waseem Jerjes123, Geir Madland45, Charlotte Feinmann145*, Mohammed El Maaytah12, Mahesh Kumar12, Colin Hopper123, Tahwinder Upile12 and Stanton Newman5

Author Affiliations

1 Unit of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Division of Maxillofacial, Diagnostic, Medical and Surgical Sciences, Eastman Dental Institute & University College London, London, UK

2 Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery/Head & Neck Unit, University College London Hospitals, London, UK

3 National Medical Laser Centre, Department of Surgery, Royal Free & University College Medical School, London, UK

4 Unit of Oral Medicine & Special Needs Dentistry, Oral Medicine and Special Needs Dentistry, Division of Maxillofacial, Diagnostic, Medical and Surgical Sciences, Eastman Dental Institute, London, UK

5 Centre for Behavioural and Social Sciences in Medicine, Royal Free & University College Medical School, London, UK

For all author emails, please log on.

Journal of Negative Results in BioMedicine 2007, 6:4  doi:10.1186/1477-5751-6-4

Published: 23 March 2007



Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are by far the most predominant condition affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), however many patients have mild self-limiting symptoms and should not be referred for specialist care.

The aim of this pilot study was to develop a simple, cost-effective management programme for TMDs using CD-ROM. 41 patients (age 18–70) participated in this study, patients were divided into three groups: the 1st group were involved in an attention placebo CD-ROM (contain anatomical information about the temporomandibular system), the 2nd group received information on CD-ROM designed to increase their control and self efficacy, while the 3rd group received the same programme of the 2nd group added to it an introduction to self-relaxing techniques followed by audio tape of progressive muscle relaxation exercises. Each of the groups was asked to complete a number of questionnaires on the day of initial consultation and six weeks afterwards.


The two experimental groups (2nd & 3rd) were equally effective in reducing pain, disability and distress, and both were more effective than the attention placebo group (1st), however the experimental groups appeared to have improved at follow-up relative to the placebo-group in terms of disability, pain and depressed mood.


This pilot study demonstrates the feasibility and acceptability of the design. A full, randomized, controlled trial is required to confirm the efficacy of the interventions developed here.