CRVAW Faculty Journal Articles


Physical and Sexual Abuse Among Orofacial Pain Patients: Linkages with Pain and Psychologic Distress


This study examines the incidence of and the potential correlates of sexual and physical abuse among facial pain patients. An anonymous survey composed of standardized self-report measures of abuse, pain, and psychologic status was distributed to 120 adult facial pain patients following their initial evaluations. Forty-five questionnaires were returned by mail. In addition, 206 charts were randomly selected from a population of 520 new patients seen at the Orofacial Pain Center during the same time period that data from the anonymous survey were collected. Results of the anonymous survey indicated that 68.9% of the patients reported a history of abuse. Conversely, a chart review revealed that only 8.5% of the patients indicated a history of abuse on the clinic questionnaire. History of abuse was significantly related to greater pain severity, depression, psychologic distress, and various personality characteristics. Overall, this study indicates that the assessment of the history of abuse may be an important factor in the evaluation and treatment of facial pain.

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1995

Notes/Citation Information

Published in Journal of Orofacial Pain, v. 9, no. 4, p. 340-346.