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Volume 36 , Issue 1
Winter 2022

Pages 59–66


Fear of Movement and Catastrophizing in Participants with Temporomandibular Disorders

Birgitta Häggman-Henrikson, DDS, PhD/Nora Jawad, DDS, MSc/Xochitl Mena Acuña, DDS, MSc/Corine M. Visscher, PT, PhD/Eric Schiffman, DDS, MS/Thomas List, DDS, Odont Dr


DOI: 10.11607/ofph.3060

Aims: To assess differences in catastrophizing and kinesiophobia in relation to areas of pain and somatic symptoms among participants with temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) and controls. Methods: In total, 401 participants (333 women, 68 men, mean age: 45.8 years) in the TMJ Impact Project were examined in accordance with the Diagnostic Criteria for TMD, including clinical examination (Axis I) and psychosocial assessment (Axis II) augmented with imaging of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Of these, 218 participants had a painful TMD pain diagnosis, 63 had a nonpainful TMD diagnosis, and 111 had no TMD. Nine participants had missing data. Participants completed the Pain Catastrophizing Scale, Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia, Areas of Pain figure, and the Patient Health Questionnaire-15 for assessing somatic symptoms. Results: Compared to controls, participants with TMD pain showed higher levels of catastrophizing (P = .017), kinesiophobia (P < .001), areas of pain (P < .001), and somatic symptoms (P < .001). Participants with nonpainful TMD showed a higher level of kinesiophobia (P < .001) than controls. There was a positive correlation between catastrophizing and kinesiophobia for participants with TMD pain (r = 0.33, P < .001) and nonpainful TMD (r = 0.42, P < .001). Discussion: The results suggest more fear of movement, as well as an association between catastrophizing and fear of movement, in participants with TMD pain and in participants with nonpainful TMD compared to controls. Assessment and management of fear of movement as well as catastrophizing may be useful as part of individualized treatment strategies for patients with TMD.


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