Emotional distress and medication use in two acute pain populations: Jaw and low back

Deirdre Edwards, Robert Gatchel, Laura Adams, Anna W. Stowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The present study was undertaken to compare emotional distress and functional ability between two common pain populations-acute jaw pain (JAW; n = 135) and acute low back pain (LB; n = 71). Patient groups were evaluated and compared on a variety of biopsychosocial measures, including the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI), Characteristic Pain Intensity (CPI), and Ways of Coping Questionnaire. Specific diagnoses were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV)-I and II, and rates of Axis I and II diagnoses in these groups were further compared to base rates in the general population. Additionally, medication usage was evaluated to determine group differences. Results revealed that JAW patients had lower BDI and CPI scores, as well as a higher level of functioning on the Global Assessment of Functioning assessed by the DSM-IV. Both acute pain groups also had significantly more Axis I and II disorders than the general population. Additionally, it was found that the JAW group used more benzodiazepines, while the LB group used more schedule II narcotics. A logistic regression model created from these variables found a six-factor model, composed of the CPI, MPI coping style anomalous, Ways of Coping problem-solving, Global Assessment of Functioning, anxiety disorders, and Cluster C personality disorder diagnoses, that differentiated the JAW from the LB group. Overall, these findings suggest that the differences identified between these two groups should be considered in developing tailored treatments for individuals with acute low back and jaw pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-253
Number of pages12
JournalPain Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Behavioral medicine
  • Low back pain
  • Psychology
  • Psychotropic drugs
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome


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