Numerous psychosocial factors have been shown to contribute to the development and perpetuation of orofacial pain. One well-recognized model for explaining the link between psychosocial factors and chronic pain is the fear avoidance model. To date, this proposed link has not been studied in subjects with orofacial pain. During the initial evaluation of subjects with orofacial pain, we collected data on fear avoidance beliefs using the Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire, and disability and pain. At between 6 and 8 weeks follow-up, we re-collected these data, as well as data addressing subjects’ perceived change in their condition. Data were analyzed using correlation coefficients and linear regression. Fear avoidance beliefs at intake were inversely correlated with intake disability, There were no significant associations between fear avoidance beliefs at initial evaluation or in changes in fear avoidance beliefs during the 6–8 weeks follow-up period; and changes in disability, pain or perceived change in condition at 6–8 weeks follow-up. Of note, fear avoidance beliefs increased over the follow-up period, despite improvements in all outcome measures. There was insufficient evidence to suggest that high levels of fear avoidance beliefs at initial evaluation are associated with higher levels of disability or pain at intake, or with change in disability, pain or perceived change in condition at 6–8 weeks follow-up. Similarly, there was insufficient evidence to suggest that changes in fear avoidance beliefs during treatment are associated with any of these outcome measures.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- disability evaluation
- orofacial pain
- psychosocial factors
- treatment outcome