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Experiences by patients and health professionals of a multidisciplinary intervention for long-term orofacial pain

Authors Nilsson H, Samuelsson M, Ekdahl S, Halling Y, Öster A, Perseius K

Received 8 January 2013

Accepted for publication 18 April 2013

Published 23 September 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 365—371


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Håkan Nilsson,1 Mats Samuelsson,2 Susanne Ekdahl,3 Yvonne Halling,4 Anders Öster,4 Kent-Inge Perseius2,3

1Department of Stomatognathic Physiology, Faculty of Odontology, Malmö University, and Unit of Stomatognathic Physiology, Specialist Dental Centre, Kalmar County Hospital, Kalmar, 2Department of Neurobiology, Caring Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, 3Nyckeln Competence Center for Pedagogics in Healthcare, Kalmar County Hospital, Kalmar, 4Unit of Stomatognathic Physiology, Specialist Dental Centre, Kalmar County Hospital, Kalmar, Sweden

Abstract: The aim of the present study was to describe patients’ and health professionals’ experiences of a multidisciplinary stress-focused clinical evaluation with prolonged engagement as an intervention for patients with long-term orofacial pain. Data in the patient part of this study were collected by free-text questionnaires using open-ended questions. Data were collected by group interview in the part of the study concerning health professionals. All data were analyzed according to qualitative content analysis. Data from patients revealed three categories for the intervention, ie, “helpful for most and crucial for some”, “being listened to, respected and validated”, and “gives important coping strategies”. The results showed that a vast majority of patients described themselves as having been helped by the intervention. Some patients reported that meeting with the orofacial pain consultant team was crucial to the future course of their lives. Most patients described still having residual pain and symptoms, and only a few described their pain as being fully remitted. However, because of the intervention, the patients reported being able to adopt more constructive coping strategies. They also described their perception of the pain as being different, in that it was not so frightening once they had been given a model with which to understand it. Data from the health professionals revealed similar categories. Concordance between the patients' and health professionals' experiences was striking. In their descriptions, the health professionals and patients underscored the same components as being effective, with understanding, respect, and validation being the most important. The multidisciplinary approach was highlighted as being key to success by both the patients and health professionals.

Keywords: long-term orofacial pain, clinical evaluation, stress reduction, prolonged engagement, teamwork, qualitative research

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