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Eur J Dent Educ. 2015 Aug;19(3):161-8. doi: 10.1111/eje.12117. Epub 2014 Aug 28.

Achieved competences in temporomandibular disorders/orofacial pain: a comparison between two dental schools in Europe.

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Department of Orofacial Pain and Jaw Function, Faculty of Odontology, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden.
Oral, Dental and Maxillofacial Sciences, Section of Orthodontics and Clinical Gnathology, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy.
Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA.
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.



The aim was to study achieved competences in temporomandibular disorders (TMD)/orofacial pain (OP) at two universities by comparing student's knowledge and understanding, satisfaction with their education and confidence in their clinical competences of TMD/OP.


The study was conducted in collaboration between Malmö University, Sweden—which uses problem-based learning—and the University of Naples Federico II, Italy—which uses traditional educational methods. Final-semester dental students responded to a self-report questionnaire regarding their knowledge and understanding, interpretation of cases histories, clinical experience, satisfaction and confidence in clinical examination, management and treatment evaluation.


No significant difference was found between the students regarding knowledge and understanding. Eighty-seven per cent of the Malmö students and 96% of the Naples students met the criterion on achieved competence. Malmö students had a higher per cent of correct diagnoses than Naples students in the interpretation of case histories. Overall, Malmö students reported most clinical experience and higher confidence than Naple students.


The main findings were that students from Malmö and Naples were, similar in knowledge and understanding of TMD/OP and in satisfaction with their clinical competences. However, Malmö students perceived more confidence in clinical management of patients with TMD/OP. This may reflect that, besides the theoretical part of the programme, a sufficient level of clinical exposure to patients with TMD/OP is essential to gain competences in TMD/OP.


attitude; competences; questionnaire; temporomandibular disorders; undergraduate education

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