Group psychotherapy: An additional approach to burning mouth syndrome
Group psychotherapy: An additional approach to burning mouth syndrome☆

Ivan Dieb MiziaraaCorresponding, Bernardo Cunha Araújo Filhoa, Rigoberto Oliveiraa, Rosa Maria Rodrigues dos Santosb

Received 5 October 2007; received in revised form 19 December 2008; accepted 28 January 2009. published online 02 March 2009.



Glossodynia or burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a common and poorly understood disorder. Its treatment is uncertain. Otherwise, there is some evidence of the importance of psychological factors in the genesis of this disease.

Verify the usefulness of group psychotherapy as an adjuvant therapeutic method in the treatment of BMS.

Casuistics and Methods

The study group consisted of 64 consecutive patients with a clinical diagnosis of BMS seen at the Stomatology Outpatient Clinic, ENT Department, Sao Paulo University Medical School, between May 2002 and May 2007. All the patients were submitted to physical examination, laboratorial screening tests, psychological assessment (Crown-Crisp Experimental Inventory), and answered a short form of the McGill Pain Questionnaire. Only 44 patients who did not show any abnormality in the protocol exams entered the study. Twenty-four of them underwent group psychotherapy. Twenty patients received placebo. Chi-square test was applied to compare the results of treatment with or without psychotherapy.


There were 15 men and 29 women in the study group. Tongue burning was the main complaint of the patients. Improvement of symptoms was reported by 17 (70.8%) of the patients undergoing psychotherapy, while among those who did not eight (40%) had improvement of symptoms (P=.04).


Psychological assessment demonstrated a close correlation between symptoms and psychological factors, suggesting that group psychotherapy is an important alternative to conventional treatment methods.

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PII: S0022-3999(09)00032-4
© 2009 Published by Elsevier Inc.
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