Orofacial pain-related communication patterns: sex and residential setting differences among community-dwelling adults.

Academic Article


  • This study documented orofacial pain-related communication patterns among community-dwelling dentate adults, health care providers, and persons in the respondent's social network. We report communication patterns for orofacial pain by symptom (toothache pain, pain when chewing, temperature sensitivity of the teeth, painful oral sores, and jaw joint pain). The subjects for the study were 724 participants in the 42-month interview of the Florida Dental Care Study, a longitudinal study of oral health among dentate adults, age 45 and older at baseline. The data were collected using a standardized telephone interview. Pain was more likely to be discussed with a lay consultant (41-66% depending on the symptom) than a health care professional (21-62%). Consistent with studies that report females tend to rely on social networks to cope with pain, more female respondents than males reported having talked to a lay consultant about orofacial pain for most of the symptoms. We also found that rural Black adults were less likely to speak to a health care professional about their orofacial pain. The findings highlight the importance of family, friends, and neighbors within the lay consultation and support network for persons with pain. Recent interest in self-care and the use of complementary and alternative approaches to treatment suggest the importance of considering influences acting within the environment of persons with pain.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • PAIN  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Aged, Chi-Square Distribution, Communication, Facial Pain, Female, Health Personnel, Humans, Logistic Models, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Odds Ratio, Residence Characteristics, Sex Factors, Socioeconomic Factors
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Riley JL; Gilbert GH; Heft MW
  • Start Page

  • 415
  • End Page

  • 422
  • Volume

  • 99
  • Issue

  • 3