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Efficacy of biofeedback-based treatments for temporomandibular disorders.

20 Mar
A review and meta-analysis of 14 studies of biofeedback for TMJ by researchers at Williams College show that surface electromyographic (SEMG) training of the chewing muscles is indeed efficacious in reducing this condition..
Investigators from the Department of Psychology at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts conducted a review and meta-analysis of 14 evaluations of biofeedback-based treatments for temporomandibular disorders (TMJ etc), published since 1978.

The literature included two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of each of three types of biofeedback treatment: (1) surface electromyographic (SEMG) training of the masticatory muscles, (2) SEMG training combined with adjunctive cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques, and (3) biofeedback-assisted relaxation training (BART).

A detailed review of these six trials, supplemented with information from non-RCT findings, was conducted to determine the extent to which each type of intervention met treatment efficacy criteria put forth by the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).

The researchers concluded that SEMG (surface electromyographic) training with adjunctive CBT is an efficacious treatment for temporomandibular disorders and that both SEMG training as the sole intervention and BART (biofeedback-assisted relaxation training) are probably efficacious treatments. This article also discusses guidelines for designing and reporting research in this area, suggesting possible directions for future studies.

Citation: Crider A, Glaros AG, Gevirtz RN. Efficacy of biofeedback-based treatments for temporomandibular disorders. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 2005 Dec; 30 (4): pages 333-45. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award