Self-reported impact on daily life activities related to temporomandibular disorders, headaches, and neck-shoulder pain among women in a Sami population living in Northern Sweden

Christina Storm Mienna, Anders Wanman
Journal of Orofacial Pain 2012, 26 (3): 215-24

AIMS: To analyze the influence of frequency, intensity, and duration of temporomandibular disorders (TMD), headaches, and neckshoulder pain (NSP) on Sami women's daily life. A further aim was to analyze the relationship between these symptoms and age.

METHODS: All 751 Sami women 21 to 70 years old registered in either the Swedish Sami Parliament's electoral register or registered as reindeer owners or herders and living north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden were sent a questionnaire regarding TMD symptoms, NSP, and headaches. In total, 487 women (65%) participated. The questionnaire focused on symptom frequency, duration, and intensity and whether these symptoms influenced activities of daily life. The symptom's interference with daily life activities was measured, respectively, with a numerical rating scale (NRS). The statistical analyses included multiple logistic regression analysis and Chi-square test. A P value < .05 was considered statistically significant.

RESULTS: Seventeen percent of the women reported that symptoms in the jaw-face region to some degree disturbed their daily life, and for 6%, the interference was significant (≥ 5 on NRS). Duration of jaw pain, troublesome impaired jaw opening, and neck pain, together with a low education level, affected reports of whether symptoms of TMD influenced daily life. Almost half of the study population reported that headaches had a negative impact on their life. A similar pattern was reported for NSP. The prevalence of frequent and troublesome symptoms of TMD and headaches, but not NSP, showed a declining trend with age.

CONCLUSION: TMD symptoms, headaches, and NSP negatively influence many Sami women's daily life. Factors related to pain had the greatest influence when these Sami women rated the related impairment.

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