Year of Publication


Document Type






First Advisor

Charles R. Carlson

Second Advisor

Reny de Leeuw


The purpose of this study was to evaluate masticatory muscle (MM) and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain patients regarding the prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and evaluate the level of psychological dysfunction and its relationship to PTSD symptoms in these patients. This study included 445 adult patients (male = 42, female = 403). Psychological questionnaires included the Symptom Check List-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), the Multidimensional Pain Inventory, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the PTSD Check List Civilian. The total sample of patients was divided into two major groups: The MM group (n=242) and TMJ group (n=203). Each group was divided into three subgroups according to the presence of a stressor and severity of PTSD symptoms. Thirty six patients (14.9%) in the MM group and 20 patients (9.9%) in the TMJ group presented symptomatology of PTSD. MM and TMJ pain patients in the positive PTSD subgroups scored higher on all scales of the SCL-90-R (p = .000) than the other two subgroups and reached levels of distress that were indicative of psychological dysfunction. MM and TMJ pain patients in the positive PTSD subgroups were more often classified as dysfunctional than as adaptive copers and presented with more sleep disturbances than patients in the no stressor and negative PTSD subgroups. A somewhat elevated prevalence rate for PTSD symptomatology was found in the MM than in the TMJ group. Significant levels of psychological dysfunction appear limited to temporomandibular disorder patients with symptoms of PTSD.