Objective. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and co-morbidity of long-standing, intense, and frequent symptoms of pain and dysfunction in the jaw-face, head, and cervical region among adult females drawn from the Sami population in northern Sweden.
Methods. A total of 487 females, taken from the register of the Swedish Sami Parliament or registered as reindeer owners or reindeer herders in the Swedish Board of Agriculture and living in the Arctic region of northern Sweden, participated in a questionnaire study.
Results. The prevalence of pain and/or dysfunction in the jaw-face region was 32%, of headaches 61%, and of pain in the cervical region 56%. When the criterion of frequent symptoms (once a week or more often) was used, prevalence dropped to 17%, 19%, and 30%, respectively, and when that of intense symptoms, defined as 5 or more on an 11-point numerical rating scale, was added, prevalence dropped further to 8%, 11%, and 20%, respectively. The majority reported long-standing symptoms (67-98% depending on symptom). A high statistically significant relationship was found between frequent symptoms of pain and/or dysfunction in the jaw-face, frequent headaches, and frequent cervical pain (p <0.0001).
Conclusions. Symptoms in the jaw-face, headaches, and cervical pain were frequently reported among a sample of Sami females living in the Swedish Arctic region. The prevalence of symptoms was strongly dependent on criteria of frequency and intensity.
Informa Healthcare, 2006. Vol. 64, no 5, 319-325 p.