Send to

Choose Destination
Aust Dent J. 2006 Mar;51(1):69-77.

Analysis of the acute postoperative pain experience following oral surgery: identification of 'unaffected', 'disabled' and 'depressed, anxious and disabled' patient clusters.

Author information

Pain Management and Research Centre, The University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital, St. Leonards, New South Wales.



Pain is defined as both a sensory and an emotional experience. Acute postoperative tooth extraction pain is assessed and treated as a physiological (sensory) pain while chronic pain is a biopsychosocial problem. The purpose of this study was to assess whether psychological and social changes occur in the acute pain state.


A biopsychosocial pain questionnaire was completed by 438 subjects (165 males, 273 females) with acute postoperative pain at 24 hours following the surgical extraction of teeth and compared with 273 subjects (78 males, 195 females) with chronic orofacial pain. Statistical methods used a k-means cluster analysis.


Three clusters were identified in the acute pain group: 'unaffected', 'disabled' and 'depressed, anxious and disabled'. Psychosocial effects showed 24.8 per cent feeling 'distress/suffering' and 15.1 per cent 'sad and depressed'. Females reported higher pain intensity and more distress, depression and inadequate medication for pain relief (p < 0.001). Distress and depression were associated with higher pain intensity. The developed questionnaire had tested reliability (test-retest r = 0.89) and estimated validity.


Cluster analysis showed constituent groups with a range of psychosocial effects in acute postoperative dental extraction pain and is associated with an increase in pain intensity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center