Impact of chronic orofacial pain of temporomandibular disorder and anxiety on the academic performance of dental students

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Aline Satie Takamiya
Marcela Filié Haddad
Vitor Bonetti Valene
Karina Helga Túrcio
Paulo Renato Junqueira Zuim
Daniela Atili Brandini


Introduction: The presence of chronic pain and mood disorders can be related to the performance of intellectual and technical tasks. Objective: This study evaluated the correlation between anxiety level, chronic orofacial pain of temporomandibular disorders (TMD), and academic performance in dental students. Methods: One hundred ninety-five students (74 men and 121 women) answered the Spielberger’s trait–state anxiety inventory to evaluate the level of anxiety; the Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD (RDC/TMD) was used to analyze chronic orofacial pain of TMD, and the academic performance was evaluated through the average grade of all college subjects concluded by the students. Correlations between the presence of chronic orofacial pain of TMD, trait, and state anxiety levels, chronic pain grade (CPG), chronic pain intensity (CPI), and academic performance were tested using Pearson's correlation test. Results: The mean age of the students was 21.8 years (SD=2.3). Chronic TMD was observed in 37.5% of the students. The majority of students had moderate trait and state anxiety. A significant correlation was observed between trait-anxiety level and CPG (r=0.148, p=0.044), and CPI (r=0.187, p=0.009). No significant correlation was found between academic grade and presence of chronic pain of TMD (r=0.041, p=0.571), trait (r=0.079, p=0.273) and state-anxiety (r=0.107, p=0.136). Conclusion: The CPG and CPI increase in participants with higher trait-anxiety levels, however, no significant correlation was found between academic performance and trait/state anxiety or chronic orofacial pain of TMD.


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Takamiya, A. S., Haddad, M. F., Valene, V. B., Túrcio, K. H., Zuim, P. R. J., & Brandini, D. A. (2022). Impact of chronic orofacial pain of temporomandibular disorder and anxiety on the academic performance of dental students. ABCS Health Sciences, 47, e022220.
Original Articles


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