Treatment Outcomes in Trigeminal Neuralgia–A Systematic Review of Domains, Dimensions and Measures

Background: Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a painful disorder characterized by sudden electric shock–like pain. It is a rare condition for which multiple treatments are available, including medical and surgical. The best treatment option is yet to be defined, and this is related to the lack of definition in the treatment outcomes and outcome measures. The aim of this systematic review was to summarize all the outcomes and outcomes measures that have been published to date and highlight variability in their use. Methods: We have conducted a literature search using a wide range of databases (1946–2019 for medical and 2008–2019 for surgical treatment), for all intervention studies in TN. Four hundred and sixty-seven studies were selected for data extraction on TN classification, data collection method, intervention, and treatment outcomes mapped to the Initiative on Methods, Measurement, and Pain Assessment in Clinical Trials (IMMPACT guidelines). Results: Most studies collected data on pain (n = 459) and side effects (n = 386) domains; however, very few collected data on the impact of treatment on physical (n = 46) and emotional functioning (n = 17) and on patient satisfaction (n = 35). There was high variability on outcome measures used for pain relief (n = 10), pain intensity (n = 9), and frequency of pain episodes (n = 3). Conclusions: A clear definition of what are the important outcomes for patients with TN is essential. The choice of standardized outcome measures allowing for consistent reporting in TN treatment will allow for comparison of studies and facilitate treatment choice for patients and clinicians thus, improving health outcomes and reducing health care cost. © 2020 The Authors


Nova, C. V. Zakrzewska, J. M. Baker, S. R. Riordain, R. N.


Journal: World Neurosurgery:
Volume: 6
Pages: -
Year: 2020

Further Study Information

Current Stage: Completed
Funding source(s): Trigemi-nal Neuralgia Association UK (TNAUK)and by the Rosetrees Trust (grant A2327).J.Z. undertook this work at UCL/UCLHT,who received a proportion of funding fromthe Department of Health’s NIHRBiomedical Research Centre fundingscheme

Health Area

Disease Category: Dentistry & oral health

Disease Name: Trigeminal neuralgia

Target Population

Age Range: 18 - 120

Sex: Either

Nature of Intervention: Drug, Surgery

Stakeholders Involved

- None

Study Type

- Systematic review of outcome measures/measurement instruments
- Systematic review of outcomes measured in trials


- Systematic review