Persistent dentoalveolar pain: The patient's experience

Justin Durham, Catherine Exley, Mike T. John, Donald R. Nixdorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Aims: To build an understanding of the patient's experience and from this identify recurring themes that could form part of an item pool for further testing of persistent dentoalveolar pain disorder (PDAP). Methods: Proven cases of PDAP were identified from a clinical database, and a purposive maximum variation sample was drawn. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the sample by a single trained interviewer. Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data collection and analysis occurred until data saturation (n = 20), with no new themes emerging. Analysis of the data was an iterative and inductive process broadly following the principles of the constant comparative method. Results: Recurrent themes emerging from the data were: difficulty in responding to history taking; duration and magnitude of pain; complex and confounding descriptors; common exacerbating factor; well-localized pain; deep pain; pressurized or pressure feeling. Conclusion: Several common experiences that can be considered items were identified in the data. These items will add to the limited pre-existing item pool in the literature and allow testing of this item pool to determine those items best suited to form an adjunctive self-report diagnostic instrument for PDAP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-13
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Oral and Facial Pain and Headache
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Atypical odontalgia
  • Diagnosis
  • Diagnostic instrument
  • Persistent dentoalveolar pain
  • Phantom tooth pain
  • Qualitative


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