Research diagnostic criteria for temporomandibular disorders: A calibration and reliability study

Marc Schmitter, Brigitte Ohlmann, Mike T. John, Christian Hirsch, Peter Rammelsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the reliability between different examiners when using the axis I of the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (RDC/TMD). The hypothesis was that the standardized RDC/TMD examination protocol enables calibrated examiners to evaluate all examination items reliably. After calibration training by the RDC/TMD calibration team including the calibration of palpation pressure and the performance of the standardized examination protocol, four examiners, blinded to the patients' medical histories examined 24 subjects in a randomized sequence. One experienced examiner was the standard (hierarchical calibration). The recorded measurements strictly followed the RDC/TMD. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), bias and precision were calculated to estimate interrater reliability. Acceptable (0.75≥ICC>0.4) to excellent (ICC>0.75) reliability was found for 20 of the 23 (87%) examinations. Only sub-retromandibular muscle palpation and joint sound vibration recordings on lateral excursion showed poor-results (ICC≤0.4). The RDC/TMD examination protocol enables calibrated examiners to perform most (87%) examination items with satisfactory reliability. Therefore multi-site studies based on the RDC/TMD examination protocol may become feasible, keeping in mind the unsatisfactory reliability of 13% of the items (clicking during laterotrusion to the ipsilateral side, palpation of the posterior and submandibular region).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-218
Number of pages7
JournalCranio
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2005

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