Single-item, self-rated health is a useful indicator of health in myofascial temporomandibular disorders

Vivian Santiago, Karen Raphael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To (1) examine differences in self-rated health (SRH) between a group of women with myofascial temporomandibular disorders (mTMD) and controls; (2) determine the extent to which pain, mental health, and physical function mediate these differences; and (3) explore specific mTMD symptoms and impairments explaining SRH among mTMD cases. Methods: An existing dataset of a sample of women with mTMD (n = 125) and a group of demographically similar controls (n = 49) was used. SRH was measured via a single item with 5 answer options ranging from poor (SRH = 1) to excellent (SRH = 5). Bodily pain, mental health, and physical function were measured with the Short-Form Health Survey. Regression analyses with SRH as the outcome were conducted. Results: mTMD cases reported poorer SRH compared to controls, and bodily pain score fully mediated these lower scores. Physical function partially mediated the association between mTMD and SRH, while mental health did not explain much of the variance in SRH. This pattern held in case-only analyses. The association was not explained by mTMD-specific symptoms or by localized mTMD pain severity, although mTMD disability was independently associated with lower SRH. Conclusion: SRH is a simple and useful tool to consider in mTMD research, as it discriminates between cases and controls based on pain and physical function and is associated with mTMD disability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-268
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Oral and Facial Pain and Headache
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019


  • General health
  • Pain
  • Self-perceived health
  • Self-rated health
  • TMD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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