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Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache



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J Orofac Pain 27 (2013), No. 3     22. July 2013
J Orofac Pain 27 (2013), No. 3  (22.07.2013)

Page 227-234

Why Seek Treatment for Temporomandibular Disorder Pain Complaints? A Study Based on Semi-structured Interviews
Rollman, Annemiek / Gorter, Ronald C. / Visscher, Corine M. / Naeije, Machiel
Aims: To assess possible differences between care seekers and non-care seekers with temporomandibular disorder (TMD) pain complaints, by using semi-structured interviews.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were held with 16 subjects who had TMD- pain complaints: 8 care seekers and 8 non-care seekers, matched for age, sex, pain intensity, and fear of movement. Subjects were selected from a previously held survey study, with their consent. The interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed according to qualitative content analysis.
Results: From the analysis, seven themes differentiating care seekers from non-care seekers were identified: catastrophizing, pain management, assertiveness, critical attitude towards health care, confidence in medical care, recognition, and adequate referral.
Conclusion: Aspects upon which care seekers differed from non-care seekers were mainly person-related characteristics. Next to these characteristics, it appeared that inadequate referrals may play a role in care seeking. The use of semi-structured interviews may further improve insights into processes that determine care seeking among people with TMD pain complaints.

Keywords: care seeking, health care practitioners, qualitative research, semi-structured interviews, temporo-disorder pain