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Assessment of somatization in temporomandibular disorders patients with functional somatic syndromes

PURPOSE: The present study addressed the prevalence of functional somatic syndromes (FSS) in temporomandibular disorders (TMD) patients and in control patients. We also investigated the overlap between history of FSS and psychometric data. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We evaluated sociodemographic characteristics, reports of previous FSS, and measures of depression and somatization as determined by the psychometric scales of the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R). Samples comprised 56 TMD patients and 103 controls who were routine dental patients. RESULTS: The reports of at least one FSS were significantly more prevalent in TMD patients than in control patients. The former group also reported significantly more frequent occurrences of multiple FSS. The median depression and somatization scores on the SCL-90-R were higher in TMD patients. TMD patients were significantly more frequently classified in the moderate and severe classes of the SCL-90-R somatization scale. The depression and somatization scores were significantly correlated. A significant and positive relationship between the number of reports of FSS and the somatization score was found in both TMD patients and in control patients. The depression score was significantly and positively linked with the incidence of FSS in the control group. CONCLUSION: TMD patients more frequently report FSS and multiple FSS than routine dental patients. Somatization of TMD patients can be assessed by inquiring as to their history of FSS.

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