A Preliminary Genome-Wide Association Study of Pain-Related Fear: Implications for Orofacial Pain
In the present study, we examined whether fear of pain, dental fear, general indices of psychological distress, and self-reported stress levels differed between 40 orofacial pain patients and 40 gender and age matched control general dental patients. We also explored how fear of pain, as measured by the Fear of Pain Questionnaire-III (J Behav Med 21 (1998) 389), relates to established measures of psychological problems in our sample of patients. Finally, we examined whether fear of pain uniquely and significantly predicts dental fear and psychological distress relative to other theoretically-relevant psychological factors. Our results indicate that fear of severe pain and anxiety-related distress, broadly defined, are particularly elevated in orofacial pain patients relative to matched controls. Additionally, fear of pain shares a significant relation with dental fear but not other general psychological symptomology, and uniquely and significantly predicts dental fear relative to other theoretically-relevant variables. Taken together, these data, in conjunction with other recent studies, suggest greater attention be placed on understanding the fear of pain in orofacial pain patients and its relation to dental fear and anxiety.