Decreased Quality of Life For Facial Pain Patients


Journal of Orofacial Pain
Spring 2011
Volume 25 , Issue 2

Differences in Psychosocial Functioning and Sleep Quality Between Idiopathic Continuous Orofacial Neuropathic Pain Patients and Chronic Masticatory Muscle Pain Patients

Felipe Porto, DDS/Reny de Leeuw, DDS, PhD/Daniel R. Evans, MS/Charles R. Carlson, PhD/Juan F. Yepes, DDS, MD, MPH/Adam Branscum, PhD/Jeffrey P. Okeson, DMD

Aim: To examine differences between idiopathic continuous orofacial neuropathic pain (ICONP) patients and chronic masticatory muscle pain (MMP) patients for psychosocial functioning and sleep quality.

Methods: Archival data were used to compare 81 ICONP patients to 81 age- and sex-matched chronic MMP patients on pain severity, life interference, life control, and affective distress measures from the Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI), a global severity index of psychological symptoms from the Symptom Checklist-90-R (SCL-90-R), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist–Civilian (PCL-C), and overall sleep quality from the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). MANOVA, MANCOVA, and chi-square analysis were used to investigate differences between the two groups in the psychosocial and sleep variables.

Results: The ICONP group reported greater pain severity (P = .013) and more life interference (P = .032) than the MMP group, while the MMP group reported higher levels of global psychological symptoms (P = .005) than the ICONP group. After controlling for pain severity, however, the MMP group demonstrated greater affective distress (P = .014) than the ICONP group, and life interference was no longer significantly different between the groups. ICONP patients were more likely to report a traumatic life event (P = .007).

Conclusion: Although ICONP patients are likely to present more intense pain and report that their pain causes more interference in their lives, MMP patients are more likely to present with higher levels of overall psychological symptoms. The greater levels of pain severity reported by ICONP patients appear to be partially responsible for their higher levels of reported life interference. J OROFAC PAIN 2011;25:117–124

This study continues to show the daily effects of facial pain and it’s ability to lower one’s quality of life. We can see that patients suffering from jaw pain and facial nerve pain report interferences in their daily lives and higher levels of overall psychological symptoms, including lowered sleep quality. Dr. Stan Farrell is Board Certified in Orofacial pain, making him one of the best qualified doctors at treating a wide variety of causes of head and facial pain, TMJ / TMD, migraine headache and trigeminal neuralgia. Visit for more information.