Sexual and physical abuse history in subjects with temporomandibular disorders: relationship to clinical variables, pain sensitivity, and psychologic factors.


Journal Article

Recent evidence suggests that a past history of physical and/or sexual abuse is more frequently reported among chronic pain populations; however, the prevalence of reported abuse has not been examined in patients with chronic orofacial pain caused by temporomandibular disorders (TMD). This study compares reported physical/sexual abuse among female TMD subjects recruited from the general population with that of age-matched female control subjects. The association of reported abuse with clinical pain, experimental pain responses, and psychologic variables was examined in the TMD group. Results indicated that a slightly but not statistically greater percentage of TMD subjects (44.8%) reported a history of sexual or physical abuse compared to control subjects (33.3%). Reported abuse among TMD subjects was not related to clinical pain or psychologic variables. Regarding experimental pain responses, TMD subjects reporting a history of abuse exhibited longer ischemic pain tolerances compared to those not reporting abuse; however, the groups did not differ on other experimental pain measures. Results indicate that the reported prevalence of physical/sexual abuse is similar among TMD subjects compared to other chronic pain populations; however, the relationship of abuse to clinical and psychosocial variables remains unclear.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Fillingim, RB; Maixner, W; Sigurdsson, A; Kincaid, S

Published Date

  • 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 48 - 57

PubMed ID

  • 10332310

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10332310

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1064-6655


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States