Psychological profiles in patients with recurrent aphthous ulcers

Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2012 Mar;41(3):384-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2011.12.024. Epub 2012 Jan 10.


The aim of this study was to investigate the psychological profiles of patients with recurrent aphthous ulcers (RAUs). 50 patients (27 men and 23 women, mean age 31.44±9.95 years) with diagnosed RAUs participated in this study. 50 controls who matched the patients in age and gender were also recruited. The participants' personality and psychological profiles were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD) and the Neuroticism-Extraversion-Openness Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). Data analysis showed that females had higher HAD anxiety scores than males in both patients and controls. Patients' age, intensity of pain and number, position, duration, and frequency of ulcers had no relation to HAD and NEO-FFI scores. Patients reported higher levels of anxiety in comparison to controls, but both reported comparable depression scores. Patients' NEO-FFI scores were not different from those reported by controls and the psychological profiles of patients and controls were similar. In conclusion; stressful situations and conditions (i.e. anxiety) rather than personality profiles and stable psychological traits were related to the occurrence of recurrent aphthous ulcers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Attitude
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Depression / psychology
  • Extraversion, Psychological
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurotic Disorders / psychology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Personality / classification
  • Sex Factors
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • Sutton disease 2