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Clin Oral Investig. 2015 Nov;19(8):1799-805. doi: 10.1007/s00784-015-1416-5. Epub 2015 Feb 14.

Peculiar alexithymic traits in burning mouth syndrome: case-control study.

Author information

1
Unit of Oral Medicine and Oral Oncology, Department of Oncology, University of Turin, Regione Gonzole 10, 10043, Orbassano, TO, Italy.
2
Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, Mental Health Department, University of Turin, Regione Gonzole 10, 10043, Orbassano, TO, Italy.
3
Unit of Oral Medicine and Oral Oncology, Department of Oncology, University of Turin, Regione Gonzole 10, 10043, Orbassano, TO, Italy. sergio.gandolfo@unito.it.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The present case-control study aims to assess the occurrence of alexithymic traits in burning mouth syndrome (BMS) subjects and to correlate alexithymic traits to anxious and depressive traits in BMS subjects.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Prospectively enrolled BMS and control subjects were administered the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Anxiety and depressive traits were assessed using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale and the Montgomery and Asberg Depression Rating Scale. Occurrence of alexithymic traits was compared between BMS and control subjects. Correlation tests were used to measure the importance of alexithymic traits related to demographic characteristics, pain intensity (VAS score), and to the other psychometric scores.

RESULTS:

Fifty-eight BMS subjects (46 females and 12 males) had a mean TAS-20 score significantly higher when compared to controls (p < 0.001; r = 0.72), corresponding to an occurrence rate of alexithymic traits of 79.3 versus 6.9%. Alexithymic traits in BMS subjects were just related to depressive traits (p = 0.02; ρ = 0.31).

CONCLUSIONS:

The high occurrence of alexithymia in BMS is an adjunctive issue in favor of its multifactorial pathogenesis, with a not negligible role for somatization.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Clinicians should be aware of the high occurrence of alexithymic traits among BMS subjects as such traits may affect the doctor-patient relationship.

KEYWORDS:

20-item Toronto Alexithymic Scale; Alexithymia; Burning mouth syndrome; Somatization

PMID:
25677240
DOI:
10.1007/s00784-015-1416-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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