Patterns of orofacial pain practice amongst oral medicine specialists in Australia

Lalima Tiwari, Ramesh Balasubramaniam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: This study aimed to evaluate and describe the current patterns of practice pertaining to orofacial pain amongst oral medicine specialists in Australia and provide insight into the access of care available to orofacial pain patients in Australia. Methods: A survey involving questions relevant to orofacial pain, patient and practitioner demographics was designed and disseminated via an online polling platform to all Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency registered oral medicine specialists. Results were collated online, and simple descriptive statistics were utilised for data analysis. Results: Twenty-six oral medicine specialists were included in this study, with a survey response rate of 81.2%. All specialists considered orofacial pain practice as part of the oral medicine specialty. 96.2% assessed and managed orofacial pain patients as part of their oral medicine practice. The greatest proportion (30.8%) of oral medicine specialists were practicing in Western Australia, a state which represents 10.3% of the Australian population. All respondents reportedly diagnose temporomandibular disorders, followed by orofacial neuropathy (96.2%) and headache or neurovascular disorders (80.8%). 92.3% of specialists managed orofacial neuropathy followed by temporomandibular disorders (84.6%) and headache or neurovascular disorders (50%). Conclusion: This is the first study to report on patterns of orofacial pain practice amongst oral medicine specialists in Australia. Findings demonstrate that oral medicine specialists in Australia are actively engaged in the assessment and management of the orofacial pain patient. There, however, appears to be disproportionate access to care by oral medicine specialists for patients with orofacial pain across Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-594
Number of pages5
JournalJournal Of Oral Pathology and Medicine
Volume49
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020

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