Send to

Choose Destination
Clin J Pain. 2013 Dec;29(12):1057-65. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e3182850559.

Biofeedback-based cognitive-behavioral treatment compared with occlusal splint for temporomandibular disorder: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

Departments of *Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy †Prosthetic Dentistry ‡Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Philipps University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany.



Cognitive-behavioral treatment has proven efficacy for chronic temporomandibular disorder (TMD). However, most patients receive dental treatment that may not address psychological comorbidities often present in TMD. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of biofeedback-based cognitive-behavioral treatment (BFB-CBT) versus dental treatment with occlusal splint (OS). Moreover, changes in nocturnal masseter muscle activity (NMMA) were investigated.


Fifty-eight patients with chronic TMD were randomly assigned to receive either 8 weekly sessions of BFB-CBT or 8 weeks of OS treatment. Diagnoses were established using Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD. Pain intensity and disability were defined as primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes included emotional functioning, pain coping, somatoform symptoms, treatment satisfaction, and adverse events. NMMA was assessed during 3 nights pretreatment and posttreatment with portable devices. Follow-up assessment took place 6 months after the treatment.


Both treatments resulted in significant reductions in pain intensity and disability, with similar amounts of clinically meaningful improvement (45% for BFB-CBT and 48% for OS). Patients receiving BFB-CBT showed significantly larger improvements in pain coping skills. Satisfaction with treatment and ratings of improvement were higher for BFB-CBT. Effects were stable over 6 months, and tended to be larger in the BFB-CBT group for all outcomes. No significant changes were observed in NMMA.


The fact that BFB-CBT resulted in larger improvements in pain coping skills, and was well accepted by the patients, underlines the importance and feasibility of psychological treatments in the clinical management of TMD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center