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Volume 15 , Issue 5
September/October 2002

Pages 461–466


Multiple Pains and Psychosocial Functioning/Psychologic Distress in TMD Patients

Adrian U. J. Yap, BDS, MSc, PhD, FAMS, FADM, FRSHa, Samuel F. Dworkin, DDS, PhDc, H. H. Tan, BDS, MDS, FRACDSd, Keson B. C. Tan, BDS (Hon), MSD, FAMSe


PMID: 12375461

Purpose: This study assessed multiple pain conditions and their association with psychosocial functioning, psychologic distress, and somatization in patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) based on RDC/TMD Axis II findings. Nonspecific pain items examined included headaches, heart/chest pain, lower back pain, nausea/abdominal pain, and muscle pain. Materials and Methods: In this study, 202 TMD patients (58 men and 144 women) referred to two TMD clinics participated. The mean age of the predominantly Chinese patient population (82%) was 32.6 years (range 13 to 65). The RDC/TMD history questionnaire was input directly into computers by patients. Graded chronic pain and SCL-90 scales were generated online and automatically archived for statistical analysis. Data were subjected to Spearman’s rank-order correlation and Kruskal- Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests at a significance level of .05. Results: Of the patients, 43% were moderately to extremely distressed by headaches. The percentage of patients who were distressed by heart/chest pain (7%), lower back pain (26%), nausea/abdominal pain (17%), and soreness of muscles (22%) was lower. Of the TMD patients, 16% experienced more than three pain items. Significant and positive correlations were observed between number of pain items experienced and graded chronic pain severity, depression, and somatization. Correlation coefficients ranged from .27 to .65 for graded chronic pain scales and somatization (without pain items) scores, respectively. Conclusion: Results suggest that the number of nonspecific pain conditions reported may be a predictor of psychosocial dysfunction, depression, and somatization. Int J Prosthodont 2002;15:461–466.


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