A.W. Stowell and colleagues at the University of Texas, Eugene McDermott Center for Pain Management, conducted a randomized clinical trial to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a biopsychosocial intervention with patients who are at high risk (HR) of progressing from acute to chronic TMD-related pain. The authors classified 96 patients with acute TMD (less than 6 months’ duration) as HR according to a predictive algorithm and randomized them into an early intervention (EI) or a nonintervention (NI) group.

The NI group received a biopsychosocial treatment that included cognitive behavioral skills training and biofeedback. Both groups were followed for 1 year. The authors collected TMD cost data throughout the year. The authors found that the EI group spent significantly fewer jaw-related health care dollars than the NI group, from intake to the 1-year follow-up.

The researchers concluded, “The reduced jaw-related health care expenditures for patients in the EI group compared with expenditures for patients in the NI group at 1 year suggest that an early biopsychosocial intervention is a cost-effective measure in dealing with often unnecessarily costly TMD-related pain.”

Stowell and colleagues published their study in the Journal of the American Dental Association.