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Physical therapy versus medical treatment of musculoskeletal disorders in dentistry -- a randomised prospective study
Nemes D, Amaricai E, Tanase D, Popa D, Catan L, Andrei D
Annals of Agricultural & Environmental Medicine 2013 Jun 9;20(2):301-306
clinical trial
4/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: No; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: No; Adequate follow-up: No; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE: Musculoskeletal disorders are frequently met in dentistry. OBJECTIVE: To show the efficiency of rehabilitation and to make correlations among patients' pain levels, their overall health status, and the number of days of work absenteeism. MATERIALS AND METHOD: A total of 390 dentists diagnosed with low back pain, scapulohumeral periarthritis, cervicobrachial neuralgia, hand osteoarthritis, tendinitis or tenosynovitis of the upper limb, carpal tunnel syndrome, spinal deformities and fibromyalgia, were followed in a 2-year prospective study. For each ailment the patients were divided into two groups. Group 1 followed both medical and rehabilitation treatment, while group 2 followed medical treatment. The patients were assessed by the visual analogue scale (VAS), the Health Assessment Questionnaire adapted for Dentists (HAQD) and the number of days of absenteeism. RESULTS: VAS scores did not significantly differ between the two groups at the beginning of the study but were significantly lower at final assessment. HAQD scores were significantly lower at one-year and two-year assessments in group 1. The number of days of absenteeism did not differ significantly between the two groups at the initial assessment. Nevertheless, the number of days of absenteeism was significantly higher for group 2 patients at the end of the study. For increased values of the visual analogue scale at the beginning and at the end of the study, the significantly increased numbers of days of absenteeism and of health assessment questionnaire scores were associated. CONCLUSIONS: Improvements of functional parameters and increase in work productivity were recorded in dentists who followed physical therapy.

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