MMPI Pattern Specificity in Primary Headache Disorders




MMPI' were obtained from 258 untreated headache patients, of whom 113 were males and 145 females. The diagnostic headache categories included: 1. Migraine alone; 2. Chronic scalp muscle contraction headache (SMC); 3. Combination headache (migraine and SMC); 4. Cluster headache; 5. Post-traumatic cephalgia (P-T); 6. conversion cephalgia.

Mean scores of the validity and clinical scales were calculated and compared between diagnostic categories; males considered separately from females. As a result of this comparison, three significantly distinct groups, two categories per group, were obtained; Group A, migraine and cluster; Group B, SMC and combination headaches; Group C, P-T and conversion cephalgia. This grouping applied to women and men similarly.

In a spectrum of from most normal to most neurotic patterns, Group A was followed by Groups B and C respectively. Significant "conversion v" patterns were found in women with SMC, P-T, and conversion cephalgia, and in men with combination headache.

In an effort to determine the predictability of correct diagnoses from MMPI patterns, selective criteria were generated and tested in a blind fashion using an additional 83 coded MMPI'. The accuracy of predictability exceeded the .001 level.