AIMS Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are often associated with psychological comorbidities. One such comorbidity is pain catastrophizing, i.e., exaggeration of negative consequences of a painful event. The aim was to investigate catastrophizing in individuals with painful TMD compared to controls and the association between catastrophizing and pain intensity, number of pain sites and functional limitations. METHODS A community-based sample of 110 individuals (83 women; 20-69 yrs) with painful TMDs (myalgia/arthralgia as per Diagnostic Criteria for TMD), and 190 age- and gender-matched controls (119 women; 20-69 yrs) from the Public Dental services in Västerbotten, Sweden participated. Associations between catastrophizing and functional jaw limitations, respectively, and painful TMD were evaluated with ordinal regression. adjusted for the effect of gender and age. Associations (Spearman's correlation) of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) with Jaw Functional Limitation Scale (JFLS-20), pain site number (whole body pain map), and characteristic pain intensity (CPI) and intergroup comparisons (Mann-Whitney U test) of these variables were also calculated. RESULTS Levels of catastrophizing, were associated with TMD pain (OR 1.6, 95%CI 1.1-2.6). Among individuals with painful TMD, catastrophizing was correlated to pain intensity (r=0.458, p<0.01) and functional limitations (r=0.294-0.321, p≤0.002), but not to number of pain sites. CONCLUSION Compared to controls, community-based individuals with painful TMD demonstrated higher levels of pain catastrophizing, and this catastrophizing was associated with increased pain intensity and jaw dysfunction. The relatively low scores of pain catastrophizing suggest that even mild catastrophic thinking is associated with pain perception and jaw function, and should be considered in patient management.
B. Häggman-Henrikson, C. Visscher, A. Wänman
Journal of oral rehabilitation