Migraine and Stress: A Daily Examination of Temporal Relationships in Women Migraineurs


Dr. Jeffrey E. Holm, Department of Psychology, Box 8303, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202.


This study examined daily temporal relationships between stress, cognitive appraisal, coping, and migraine in a group of young women migraineurs sampled from a general population. Participants (N=20) meeting International Headache Society 1 criteria for migraine with or migraine without aura provided headache activity, perceived stress, cognitive appraisal, and coping strategy data across 2 months of data collection. A time-series analytic approach was used to cross-correlate daily stress, appraisal, and coping data with daily headache data controlling for factors that can inflate correlations in data collected across time. Analyses revealed that between 50% and 70% of subjects showed significant, substantial, and meaningful temporal correlations between their daily stress and their daily migraine activity. Furthermore, these data support the hypothesis that stress and migraine are reciprocally related (ie, cyclically influencing each other across time). In addition, despite some measurement concerns, our data suggest that cognitive appraisal and coping are also related to migraine activity in a reciprocal fashion.