Stress and Temporomandibular Disorders Among Malaysian Armed Forces Paratroopers

Siti Nordiana Dollah, Rosli Abd Majid, Mumtajnisah Abd Rahim, Liana Ma Abdullah, Mohd Badli Mahmud, Ahmad Fahmi Bustaman, Shopia Ann Murray, Shahirul Faizi Sapari, Syarifah Azlin Juliana Syed Zainal


Background: Parachuting is regarded as one of the most challenging and demanding effort which requires a high degree of mental and physical fitness. Paratroopers as an elite force are subjected to vigorous training in order to prepare them for the hardship of war and stressful environment.

Objective: To study the prevalence of emotional distress among MAF paratroopers and its associated factors as well as to examine the association between the emotional distress and temporomandibular disorders.

Methods: 300 active parachutists completed the assessment. Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS 21) was used to assess the level of emotional distress whereas the presence and severity of TMD are determined using a self–administered Fonseca’s questionnaire.

Result: Our results showed that the prevalence of emotional distress in this group was high (48.3%). The DASS scores were significantly higher among the officer group and  those with temporomandibular disorders (p<0.05).

Conclusions: There was high prevalence of emotional stress among paratroopers which was significantly associated with rank and presence of temporomandibular disorders. These demonstrate the need for stress awareness education including its management at various stages of a soldier’s military career.

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Emotional Stress; Temporomandibular Disorder; Paratroopers; Malaysian Armed Forces

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