THE PROBLEMS AND IMPACTS OF OROFACIAL PAIN AMONG A GROUP OF MALAYSIAN ABORIGINES
Background: The high prevalence and impacts oforofacial pain (OFP) have caused major sufferingsto individuals and society. The purpose of the studywas to investigate the problems and impacts of OFPamong a group of Malaysian aborigines. The objectives were to determine (i) the prevalence,aetiology, duration, severity, types and persistence ofOFP during the past 3 months preceding the study;(ii) its associated impact on daily performance; and(iii) the measures taken for pain relief. Methods: This is a cross sectional study carriedout in Kuala Lipis, Pahang involving 6 villages ofOrang Asli Bateq and Semai. Study sample waschosen using convenient sampling including adultsaged 16 years and above. Participants were invitedfor an interview using structured questionnairefollowed by clinical examination. Data analysis wascarried out using SPSS ver12.Results: Response rate was low at 20% (n = 140).Over one-quarter (26.4%) of the sample experiencedOFP in the previous 3 months. Toothache was foundto be the main aetiology (83.3%) followed bygingival pain (18.9%), temporomandibular joint(10.8%) and facial pain (8.1%). Mean duration ofpain was 9.8 days for toothache, 162.4 days forgingival pain, 7.3 days for TMJ and 5.7 days forfacial pain. Of those who had OFP, over half ratedthe pain as moderate (37.8%) and severe (29.7%) andmost of the pain was ‘intermittent’ in nature(81.1%). Over half (62.2%) admitted the pain haddisappeared during the interview. In terms of painrelief, 56.8% of the sample used traditional medicine.The pain had impacted on the chewing ability(70.3%, p=0.01), ability to sleep at night (73.0%,p<0.001), levels of anxiety (70.3%), ability toperform daily chores (33.3%) and social life (35.1%)of the Orang Asli sample.Conclusion: This study suggests the prevalenceof OFP was high among the Orang Asli sample,which imposed considerable physical andpsychological impacts on daily life.
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