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Volume 11 , Issue 1
Winter 1997

Pages 48-57

Sexual and Physical Abuse History in Subjects With Temporomandibular Disorders: Relationship to Clinical Variables, Pain Sensitivity, and Psychologic Factors


PMID: 10332310

Recent evidence suggests that a past history of physical and/or sexual abuse is more frequently reported among chronic pain populations; however, the prevalence of reported abuse has not been examined in patients with chronic orofacial pain caused by temporomandibular disorders (TMD). This study compares reported physical/sexual abuse among female TMD subjects recruited from the general population with that of age-matched female control subjects. The association of reported abuse with clinical pain, experimental pain responses, and psychologic variables was examined in the TMD group. Results indicated that a slightly but not statistically greater percentage of TMD subjects (44.8%) reported a history of sexual or physical abuse compared to control subjects (33.3%). Reported abuse among TMD subjects was not re lated to clinical pain or psychologic variables. Regarding experimental pain responses, TMD subjects reporting a history of abuse exhibited longer ischemic pain tolerances compared to those not reporting abuse; however, the groups did not differ on other experimental pain measures. Results indicate that the reported prevalence of physical/sexual abuse is similar among tMD subjects compared to other chronic pain populations; however, the relationship of abuse to clinical and psychosocial variables remains unclear.

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