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Volume 8 , Issue 3
Summer 1994

Pages 289-292

Litigation and chronic facial pain


PMID: 7812226

Clinical studies have suggested that the presence of litigation in chronic pain syndromes may complicate diagnostic and treatment strategies. In addition, psychosocial factors may be prevalent in such cases. The present study explored the possible correlation in the facial pain population between patients in litigation and psychological disturbance as measured by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. Beck Depression Inventory and Wahler Symptom Checklist scores also were compared. One hundred eleven patients diagnosed with chronic facial pain were asked if they currently were involved in litigation related to their medical complaints. The result revealed that 18% of the 111 patients were in litigation at the time of their initial visit. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory profiles showed that 45% of the litigation patients had four or more clinical scales above 70 (significantly elevated) on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. In contrast, only 18% of the patients who were not in litigation had four or more scales above the 70 criteria. Beck and Wahler scores also were more elevated for the litigation group. The results of the study indicate that chronic facial pain patients in litigation may present with more psychological disturbance as compared to those patients not in litigation.

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