25.03.2021 | Original Article
Orthodontists’ knowledge and experience on referring orthognathic surgery patients to psychological support
Journal of Orofacial Orthopedics / Fortschritte der Kieferorthopädie
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The aim of this study was to evaluate orthodontists’ knowledge and experience on referring orthognathic surgery patients to psychological support.
A 15-question questionnaire was sent to orthodontists who were members of the Turkish Orthodontic Society via e‑mail. The participants were informed about the purpose of the study and were provided a link to access the questionnaire via the internet. In order to increase the feedback rate, two reminders were sent to all addresses. Members who did not perform orthognathic surgery were not included in the study.
Of the 1615 members who were sent the link, 233 responded and filled out the electronic questionnaire, while 12 participants who stated that they did not treat orthognathic patients were excluded. Most of the participants stated that they did not refer their patients to psychological support. The main reasons for not recommending psychological support to patients was fear about the reaction of the patients and that patients might refuse to visit the psychologist/psychiatrist. The most common reasons for referring patients to psychological support were the following: patient had past/current psychological problem, unrealistic expectations, recent concerns regarding orthognathic surgery and see no significant need for surgery. In all, 98% of participants stated that they did not use psychological questionnaire forms for their patients. The vast majority of participants stated that they were not trained in psychological assessment/treatment, and a large majority of participants thought that it would be beneficial to receive training in this field.
Most orthodontists do not receive adequate training in psychology and do not refer orthognathic surgery patients to psychological support. It would be beneficial to offer clinicians training in this field.