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The Jaw Assessment Clinic: a Physiotherapy-Led Screening and Management Clinic for patients with temporomandibular joint dysfunction

Project Status: 

The PAH Maxillofacial Department, in collaboration with the PAH Physiotherapy Department, developed and piloted a Jaw Assessment Clinic (JAC) for 3 months in 2017.The JAC feasibility pilot was supported by all key executive & clinical stakeholders from PAH.

The JAC feasibility pilot ran alongside the well-established PAH Back Assessment Clinic and utilised advanced musculoskeletal physiotherapists in a screening capacity to assess and case manage TMD patients that had been triaged by the Metro South Maxillofacial surgeons as unlikely to require surgical input.  The aim was to facilitate appropriate access to non-surgical interventions (and to screen for those patients who require earlier specialist review).

The addition of the Jaw Assessment Clinic (JAC) enabled approximately 10 TMD New Cases (+ review cases) to be screened off the Maxillofacial Specialist Outpatient Department (SOPD) waiting list per month.  The 3 month JAC pilot proved to be a low-cost strategy to more efficiently meet the health care needs of the TMD patient cohort and improve patient flow within the PAH Maxillofacial SOPD. 

In late 2017, the MSH Executive Planning and Innovation Committee (MSH EPIC) provided financial support to extend this pilot for another 12 months which will enable more robust clinical & organisational impact data analytics to occur.  The model also has the potential to be expanded to include other MSHHS locations.

Aims & Goals: 
It is anticipated that this project will achieve: 1. Cat 2/3 TMD patients referred to PAH Maxillofacial SOPD JAC will be seen within the appropriate clinical timeframes. 2 <10% of JAC patients will require consultant input +/- imaging. 3 Consumers, Maxillofacial Consultants and GPs will report high levels of satisfaction with the JAC.
Evaluation/outcomes: 
The Jaw Assessment Clinic has streamlined the care of people with temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMD at the Princess Alexandra Hospital by: decreasing the time that people with TMD spend on the specialist maxillofacial waiting list; and the earlier commencement of conservative (or non-surgical) management of TMD. The clinic also supports improved health outcomes for people with TMD by decreasing the likelihood of the joint dysfunction progressing to a chronic condition.
Lead Service / Stream: 
Keywords: 
Jaw Assessment Clinic, TMD, TMJ Dysfunction
Last updated 18 November 2019