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The impact of trismus on health-related quality of life and mental health.

Journal article
Authors Joakim Johnson
Mia Johansson
Anna Rydén
Erik Houltz
Caterina Finizia
Published in Head & neck
Volume 37
Issue 11
Pages 1672–1679
ISSN 1097-0347
Publication year 2015
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Oncology
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Otorhinolaryngology
Pages 1672–1679
Language en
Subject categories Cancer and Oncology, Otorhinolaryngology


Background: Trismus is a common symptom often related to the treatment of head and neck (H&N) cancer and to temporomandibular disorders (TMD). The aim of the present study was to measure the impact of trismus on health related quality of life (HRQL) and mental health in patients with H&N cancer and TMD. Materials and Methods: We used the criteria for trismus of maximum interincisal opening (MIO) ≤35 mm and the study subjects responded to the following instruments; The Gothenburg Trismus Questionnaire (GTQ), the Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The study also comprised an age- and gender-matched control group without trismus. Results: Trismus patients reported significantly more dysfunction in all GTQ domains and more facial pain compared to the control group. The patients with H&N cancer and trismus scored significantly lower on all SF-36 domains except General Health compared to the control group, and the TMD patients with trismus scored significantly lower in three of the eight domains in SF-36. According to the HADS, a greater proportion of H&N cancer patients with trismus displayed more depression compared to the control group. Conclusion: The results showed that trismus is associated with a significant impact on HRQL and that patients with trismus should be approached in a holistic way with respect for the underlying cause, treating not only the physical aspects of trismus but also addressing the patients' mental health. Head Neck, 2014.

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