The Headache Scale: an Examination of its Reliability and Validity




360 Migraine and tension headache sufferers attending a specialist headache clinic completed theHeadache Scale (HS), the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ) and the Pain Behaviour Checklist. Mood andpersonality were also assessed. The test-retest reliability of the HS over a one week period was examinedand found to be adequate. Cluster analysis of the HS adjectives resulted in 5 clusters labelled tight, sharp,dull (sensory), discomfort and autonomic (affective). When the severity of headaches was partialled out, asensory and an affective cluster corresponding to the two major components of subjective pain experiencewere obtained. The concurrent validity of the HS was further demonstrated by its having an identicalpattern of association as the MPQ to the Pain Behaviour Checklist, the Wakefield Depression Inventory andthe Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. Scores of the classical and common migraineurs and tensionheadache sufferers on the HS were quantitatively but not qualitatively different. Situations in which the HSmay be used instead of the MPQ are outlined and suggestions for further examination of the validity of theHS are made.