The additional value of e-Health for patients with a temporomandibular disorder: a mixed methods study on the perspectives of orofacial physical therapists and patients

Hedwig A. van der Meer, Annet Doomen, Corine M. Visscher, Raoul H.H. Engelbert, Maria W.G. Nijhuis-van der Sanden, Caroline M. Speksnijder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To assess the experience and perceived added value of an e-Health application during the physical therapy treatment of patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Materials and methods: A mixed-methods study including semi-structured interviews was performed with orofacial physical therapists (OPTs) and with TMD patients regarding their experience using an e-Health application, Physitrack. The modified telemedicine satisfaction and usefulness questionnaire and pain intensity score before and after treatment were collected from the patients. Results: Ten OPTs, of which nine actively used Physitrack, described that the e-Health application can help to provide personalised care to patients with TMD, due to the satisfying content, user-friendliness, accessibility, efficiency, and ability to motivate patients. Ten patients, of which nine ended up using Physitrack, felt that shared decision-making was very important. These patients were positive towards the application as it was clear, convenient, and efficient, it helped with reassurance and adherence to the exercises and overall increased self-efficacy. This was mostly built on their experience with exercise videos, as this feature was most used. None of the OPTs or patients used all features of Physitrack. The overall satisfaction of Physitrack based on the telemedicine satisfaction and usefulness questionnaire (TSUQ) was 20.5 ± 4.0 and all patients (100%) showed a clinically relevant reduction of TMD pain (more than 2 points and minimally 30% difference). Conclusion: OPTs and patients with TMD shared the idea that exercise videos are of added value on top of usual physical therapy care for TMD complaints, which could be delivered through e-Health.Implications for Rehabilitation Physical therapists and patients with temporomandibular disorders do not use all features of the e-Health application Physitrack in a clinical setting. Exercise videos were the most often used feature and seen as most valuable by physical therapists and patients. Based on a small number of participants, e-Health applications such as Physitrack may be perceived as a valuable addition to the usual care, though this would need verification by a study designed to evaluate the therapeutic effect (e.g., a randomised clinical trial).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-445
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Issue number2
Early online date12 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2024


  • e-Health
  • orofacial pain
  • physical therapy
  • temporomandibular disorder

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