South African Dental Journal
On-line version ISSN 0375-1562
Print version ISSN 0011-8516
VAN DER MERWE, A and BARNES, R. The need for physiotherapy intervention for mandibular condyle fracture patients: A needs analysis. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2015, vol.70, n.5, pp.196-199. ISSN 0375-1562.
INTRODUCTION: The need for physiotherapy intervention in the treatment of mandibular condyle fractures has been highlighted in international research but no such study has been conducted in South Africa. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To perform a needs analysis amongst academically affiliated maxillo-facial surgeons and physiotherapists in South Africa regarding their perceived need for a post-operative physiotherapy intervention program for patients who sustained mandibular condyle fractures. DESIGN: Quantitative, non-experimental study, by means of a needs analysis questionnaire. METHODS: The questionnaire was distributed to qualified experts: one physiotherapist and one maxillo-facial surgeon from each of the South African training institutions. A convenience sampling method was used to select appropriately trained participants. RESULTS: The sample of participants was unanimous in confirming that there was a definite need for a physiotherapy intervention for mandibular condyle fracture patients whilst 85.7 % of respondents indicated that the patients should receive hospital physiotherapy. CONCLUSIONS: Experts in the field recommended that physiotherapists should provide post-operative rehabilitative therapy to patients who had sustained mandibular condyle fractures to enhance the rehabilitation process. The data obtained from the needs analysis will be applied, using the Delphi method to develop a post-operative functional exercise programme for patients who had sustained these fractures.
Keywords : mandibular condyle fractures; physiotherapy; exercise; temporomandibular joint; needs analysis.