As we continue to navigate the pandemic, we continue to uncover more information that is important to highlight for our patients. In a recent study, researchers looked at the psychological status of patients with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is what they found.
What the research says
Participants in the study completed an anonymous online questionnaire that covered:
- Background information.
- The perception of the pandemic.
- Level of anxiety and depression.
After completing the questionnaire, respondents were divided into an orthodontics group, TMD group and a control group. There were a total of 1,241 questionnaires collected, covering 87 orthodontic patients and 220 TMD patients.
Mental health outcomes
What the researchers found was that the overall mental health for these respondents was not very optimistic during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, TMD patients had a higher level of anxiety and depression than the orthodontic patients as well as the general population.
Additionally, younger age and female respondents had concern about psychological barriers and distrust, which negatively affect their psychological status. Even beyond the pandemic, it is important for mental health care to be emphasized, especially to patients with TMD.
Not only can we continue to provide our patients with TMD with the care they need and deserve, but we can also guide them in appropriate directions for mental health resources now and after the pandemic.