Behavioral assessment of chronic orofacial pain.
Orofacial pain is usually evaluated and treated from a biomedical perspective. There is no question that the large majority of individuals having acute orofacial pain benefit from timely and appropriate medical intervention. When orofacial pain persists, however, the likelihood that this pain can influence and be influenced by behavioral factors increases. While some individuals are able to adapt and cope with chronic orofacial pain, others develop significant behavioral problems. These problems may include an overly sedentary lifestyle, dependence on habit-forming narcotic medications, or severe depression or anxiety. The hallmark of the behavioral perspective on chronic pain is the insistence that a careful assessment and treatment of such behavioral problems is just as important as appropriate biomedical intervention.(1)
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