Dissertation Grant for Marcia Rojas: Are Latent Variables of Depression, Anxiety, and Fatigue Helpful in Predicting Pain Outcomes in Orofacial Pain Patients?

Grants and Contracts Details


Chronic pain in the orofacial region negatively influences quality of life, not only because it interferes with fundamental activities like eating, speaking, and expressing emotions, but also because of the psychological challenges it presents for patients. Depression,1, 2 anxiety,3 and fatigue4 have been cross-sectionally associated to worse pain outcomes in chronic orofacial pain patients, but the ability of these psychological factors to longitudinally predict pain outcomes in orofacial pain populations has been understudied. The purpose of the proposed study is to test the role of depression, anxiety, and fatigue in predicting pain intensity, unpleasantness, interference, and disability following an initial pain evaluation. Patients who had an initial appointment at an orofacial pain center 2-7 years ago will be re-contacted and invited to participate in an online survey that includes a battery of psychological and pain measurements. Data from their initial visit (Time 1) will be extracted from their medical records and used as predictors for pain outcomes 2 to 7 years after initial appointment (Time 2). Based on research showing that depression, anxiety, and fatigue are greater in people with muscular and neuropathic pains than in those with joint pains,5-7 the project also aims to explore whether psychological variables are better predictors of pain outcomes for some orofacial pain conditions than for others. The longitudinal nature of the study will expand on the existing literature regarding the association of psychological contributors to chronic pain trajectories and the creation of latent variables will allow us to capture the multidimensional nature of depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
Effective start/end date9/1/168/31/17


  • American Academy of Orofacial Pain: $4,000.00


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