Somatic complaints, psychologic distress, and treatment outcome in two groups of TMD patients, one previously subjected to whiplash injury

J Orofac Pain. Spring 1998;12(2):136-44.


The aim of this study was to compare somatic complaints and psychologic distress in a group of whiplash patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and a group of patients with TMD only, and to assess the outcome after conservative TMD treatment consisting of counseling, muscle exercises, and a stabilization splint. Each group consisted of 16 patients (12 women and 4 men) with a mean age of 42 years. The duration of the symptoms was from 1 to 3 years. In addition to a functional clinical examination and a recording of headache frequency and intensity, the patients answered three questionnaires: a Somatic Complaints Questionnaire (SCQ); the trait portion of Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory; and the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R). The whiplash patients had higher scores than the TMD patients on the SCQ muscle score and on the following subscores of SCL-90-R: obsession, somatization, depression, and anger/hostility. The treatment outcome as assessed by the change of self-reported frequency of headache, number of tender muscles upon palpation, and change of values on a visual analogue scale for headache intensity showed that the whiplash patients obtained only a decrease in the proportion of tender muscles, while those in the TMD only group showed improvement on all treatment criteria.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Counseling
  • Facial Pain / etiology
  • Facial Pain / psychology
  • Facial Pain / therapy
  • Female
  • Headache / etiology
  • Headache / psychology
  • Headache / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masticatory Muscles / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Muscles / physiopathology
  • Occlusal Splints
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pain Measurement
  • Personality Inventory
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Psychometrics
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Self-Assessment
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / etiology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / psychology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / therapy*
  • Whiplash Injuries / complications*
  • Whiplash Injuries / psychology
  • Whiplash Injuries / therapy*