Temporomandibular Disorders: Association between Psychosocial Symptoms and Persistent Pain

Malik Mudasser Yasin, Muhammad Wasim, Shumaila Anjum


This longitudinal study of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) reports the association of psychosocial dysfunctions (depression, somatization without pain, somatization, and anxiety) with characteristic pain intensity (CPI), pain interference (PI), and number of disability days (DD) for subjects with TMD. Subjects (N=330) underwent a thorough series of assessments at baseline and follow-up (5-10 years later) to receive both Axis I and Axis II diagnoses per the Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD (RDC/TMD). They reported their levels of CPI, PI, and DD at baseline and follow-up. Linear and log-binomial regression analyses were used to evaluate the change in CPI and PI and assess the risk of DD by baseline categories of psychosocial symptoms as measured by the Symptom Checklist (SCL-90). Linear regression analysis revealed that subjects with depression at baseline had higher PI at follow-up. Also, subjects with moderate to severe somatization with and without pain had higher CPI at follow-up than subjects without somatization. In conclusion, we found that psychosocial impairments (depression, somatization) were associated with increased characteristic of pain intensity, pain interference, and disability days at follow-up.


Temporomandibular disorder, pain intensity, pain interference, number of disability days

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