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Predictive model for temporomandibular disorder in adolescents: Decision tree.

BACKGROUND: Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) do not only occur in adults but also in adolescents, with negative impacts on their development.

AIM: To propose a predictive model for TMD in adolescents using a decision tree (DT) analysis and to identify groups at high and low risk of developing TMD in the city of Recife, PE, Brazil.

DESIGN: This cross-sectional study was conducted in Recife on 1342 schoolchildren of both sexes aged 10-17 years. The analyses were performed using Pearson's chi-squared test and Fisher's exact test, as well as the CHAID algorithm for the construction of the DT. The SPSS statistical program was used.

RESULTS: The prevalence of TMD was 33.2%. Statistically significant associations were observed between TMD and sex, depression, self-reported orofacial pain, and orofacial pain on clinical examination. The DT consisted of self-reported orofacial pain, orofacial pain on physical examination, and depression, with an overall predictive power of 73.0%.

CONCLUSION: The proposed tree has a good predictive capacity and permits to identify groups at high risk of developing TMD among adolescents, such as those with self-reported orofacial pain or orofacial pain on examination associated with depression.

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