Psychopathology and Headache Syndromes in the Community




The present study investigated the association between psychopathology and headache in a prospective longitudinal epidemiologic study of a cohort of 19- and 20-year-olds in Zurich, Switzerland. Prevalence rates of psychopathology by headache subtype were examined both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Psychiatric disorders were evaluated using a direct interview administered by experienced clinicians. Personality was assessed using the Freiburg Personality Inventory and the Symptom Checklist 90. In general, subjects with migraine had more affective and anxiety disorders and exhibited elevated rates of neuroticism and somatization compared to nonmigraine subjects. When examined by headache subtype, migraineurs with aura exhibited greater rates of psychopathology and more personality abnormalities than any of the other headache subtypes or controls. In contrast to clinical wisdom, subjects with tension-type headache did not differ from controls in rates of psychopathology or on any of the personality or symptom factors.