Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Charles O. Matthews


Twenty-four facial pain patients and their spouses were videotaped answering questions concerning their relationships. This study was designed to more objectively support the clinical impressions of the MCV/VCU TMJ and Facial Pain Research Center's treatment team's view of the interactional characteristics of these couples. Prior to the team offering brief couples psychotherapy for assistance in the resolution of the pain problem, the team needed to assess the pain couples' relationship variables. Adherence to health care providers' recommendations is typically minimal unless all participants agree that specific treatment is warranted. There appears to be a lack of understanding among patients, their families, and health care providers as to the contributing factors in the maintenance and continuation of pain. This study describes the spousal unit in an effort to individualize care and treatment for temporomandibular disorder (TMD) patients and their families.;The pain couples' were rated by two trained family therapists on the dimensions of Cohesion, Adaptability, Communication, and Marital Satisfaction (measured by the Clinical Rating Scale and a clinical rating (CR) of Marital Satisfaction) and compared to the self-report (SR) ratings of the pain patients and their spouses (measured by the FACES-III). The couples were placed by group (Balanced, Mid-Range, or Extreme) on the Circumplex Model, and the pain patients were examined as to their reported difference in perceived pain (sensory and affective pain measured by the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS)).;The results of the study indicate that pain patients and their spouses were highly correlated with each other on the FACES-III and were Congruent. They scored within the normative range on Cohesion and were 1.5 S.D.'s above the normative mean for adults on Adaptability. Five couples were Balanced, twelve Mid-Range, and seven Extreme as for family group on the Circumplex Model; and significant relationships were found (a) between CRS/CR and SR and (b) between groups in perceived pain.



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