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Papers of the Week

Papers: 19 Sep 2020 - 25 Sep 2020

Human Studies

2020 Sep 24

Scand J Pain

Prevalence of temporomandibular disorder in adult patients with chronic pain.


Stålnacke C, Ganzer N, Liv P, Wänman A, Lövgren A
Scand J Pain. 2020 Sep 24.
PMID: 32970609.


Objectives Chronic pain patients often suffer in multiple locations. In health care, examinations of bodily pain usually do not include questions about temporomandibular disorders (TMD); hence TMD symptoms and potential comorbidities are not regularly assessed. Therefore, the primary aim was to evaluate the prevalence of TMD in patients referred to a pain rehabilitation clinic, and the secondary aim was to evaluate possible factors associated with TMD symptoms. Methods Consecutive chronic pain patients referred to the Pain Rehabilitation Clinic at the Umeå University Hospital in Sweden were included. TMD symptoms were assessed using three valid screening questions – 3Q/TMD. Pain sites, emotional distress, kinesiophobia, and demographics were obtained from the Swedish Quality Registry for Pain Rehabilitation. Results In total, 188 (144 women) chronic pain patients (mean age 41.8 years) were included. Of these, 123 (96 women) answered affirmatively to at least one of the 3Q/TMD. The relative risk of TMD symptoms among the patients with chronic pain, in comparison to the general population, was 7.1 (95% CI 5.9-8.4). Age was the only independent variable associated with TMD among the patients (p = 0.018). Conclusions The prevalence of TMD symptoms was higher in a chronic pain population compared to the general population. The 3Q/TMD questionnaire could be a suitable screening tool at pain rehabilitation clinics to identify patients for further examination of involvement of pain in the trigeminal region. Our results reinforce the clinical importance of paying attention to concurrent widespread pain and local TMD symptoms.