Sensitivity and specificity of different indexes used to diagnose Temporomandibular Disorders

Isabelle Sousa Dantas, Jairo Matozinho Cordeiro, Mariana Barbosa Câmara-Souza, Camila Maria Bastos Machado de Resende, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli da Costa Oliveira, Gustavo Augusto Seabra Barbosa


Objective: To verify the level of agreement among different indexes used to achieve the prevalence of Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD). Material and Methods: One hundred one dental students were selected by a randomized process. TMD were evaluated by the Fonseca’s Anamnestic Index (FAI), Helkimo’s Clinical Index (HCI), and the Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD (RDC/TMD). Data was analyzed using Chi-square and Kappa tests, considering a significance level of 5%. Results: HCI showed the highest prevalence of TMD, and the comparison between RDC/TMD, FAI, and HCI showed low agreement (k=0.17 and k=0.35 respectively). Most individuals presented mild TMD for both FAI and HCI indexes. A moderate correlation for TMD severity was obtained (kw=0.53) between FAI and HCI, and a high sensitivity and low specificity were observed for both diagnosis when compared to RDC/TMD. Conclusion: The prevalence of TMD may vary significantly depending on the index used for its diagnosis, which may lead to a large number of false positives and overtreatments.


Keywords: Epidemiology; Prevalence; Temporomandibular joint; Temporomandibular joint disorders; Young adult.

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