Aim: The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a particular behavioral medicine treatment modality, medical hypnosis, on reducing the pain symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
Methods: Twenty-eight patients who were recalcitrant to conservative treatment for TMD participated in a medical hypnosis treatment program and completed measures of their pain symptoms on 4 separate occasions: during wait list, before treatment, after treatment, and at a 6-month follow-up. In addition, pretreatment and posttreatment medical use were examined.
Results: Statistical analysis of this open trial suggests that medical hypnosis is a potentially valuable treatment modality for TMD. Patients reported a significant decrease in pain frequency (F [3, 87] = 14.79, P<.001), pain duration (F [3, 87] = 9.56, P<.001), and pain intensity (F [3, 87] = 15.08, P<. 001), and an increase in daily functioning. Analysis suggests that their symptoms did not simply spontaneously improve, and that their treatment gains were maintained for 6 months after hypnosis treatment. Further, after hypnosis treatment, patients exhibited a significant reduction in medical use.
Conclusion: Medical hypnosis appears to be an effective treatment modality for TMD, in terms of reducing both symptoms and medical use.