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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 May 2024 - 31 May 2024

2024 May 23

J Pain


The contribution of sleep quality and psychological factors to the experience of within-day pain fluctuations among individuals with temporomandibular disorders.


Babiloni AH, Provost C, Charlebois-Plante C, De Koninck BP, Apinis-Deshaies A, De Beaumont L, Lavigne GJ, Martel MO


We assessed the impact of day-to-day sleep quality and psychological variables (catastrophizing, negative affect, positive affect) to within-day pain fluctuations in 42 females with painful temporomandibular disorders (TMD) using electronic diaries. More specifically, we examined the contribution of these variables to the likelihood of experiencing pain exacerbations defined as: 1.1) an increase of 20 points (or more) in pain intensity on a 0-100 visual analogue scale (VAS) from morning to evening, and/or 1.2) a transition from mild-to-moderate pain over the course of the day; and pain decreases defined as: 1.3) a decrease of 20 points (or more) in pain intensity (VAS) from morning to evening, and/or 1.4) a reduction from moderate to mild pain over the day. Results indicated significantly main effects of sleep on both pain exacerbation outcomes (both p’s <.05), indicating that nights with better sleep quality were less likely to be followed by clinically meaningful pain exacerbations on the next day. Results also indicated that days characterized by higher levels of catastrophizing were associated with a greater likelihood of pain exacerbations on the same day (both p’s <.05). Daily catastrophizing was the only variable significantly associated with within-day pain decrease indices (both p’s <.05). None of the other variables were associated with these outcomes (all p’s >.05). These results underscore the importance of addressing patients’ sleep quality and psychological states in the management of painful TMD. PERSPECTIVES: These findings highlight the significance of sleep quality and pain catastrophizing in the experience of within-day pain fluctuations among individuals with TMD. Addressing these components through tailored interventions may help to alleviate the impact of pain fluctuations and enhance the overall well-being of TMD patients.