J Orofac Pain 10 (1996), No. 4 (01.09.1996)
Pain and the Quality of Life in Patients Referred to a Craniofacial Pain Unit
Murray / Locker / Mock / Tenenbaum
Although there are reasons to believe that temporomandibular disorders and other facial pain conditions would have a major impact on the quality of patients' lives, only a small number of studies have attempted to address this in a systematic way. In this study, data on pain and its consequences were assessed for 121 patients making their first visit to a craniofacial pain research unit. The extent to which musculoskeletal and neurologically based facial pain compromised the quality of life was measured using the Oral Health Impact Profile, a recently developed index of the functional and psychosocial outcomes of oral conditions. The data indicated that facial pain had a substantial impact on daily life and that its most common outcomes were psychologic. When compared with a nonpain population, the extent of this impact was striking. There was a four-fold increase in functional problems such as difficulty chewing foods and a nine-fold increase in reports of depression. As anticipated, scores on the Oral Health Impact Profile were associated with the characteristics of the pain and diagnostic subgroups.