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Scandinavian Journal of Pain

Official Journal of the Scandinavian Association for the Study of Pain

Editor-in-Chief: Breivik, Harald

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The relative importance of anxiety and depression in pain impact in individuals with migraine headaches

Catarina Tomé-Pires
  • Chair in Pediatric Pain URV-FundaciónGrünenthal and Unit for the Study and Treatment of Pain – ALGOS, Catalonia, Spain
  • Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC), Department of Psychology, Catalonia, Spain
  • Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili; Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Catalonia, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ester Solé
  • Chair in Pediatric Pain URV-FundaciónGrünenthal and Unit for the Study and Treatment of Pain – ALGOS, Catalonia, Spain
  • Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC), Department of Psychology, Catalonia, Spain
  • Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili; Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Catalonia, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Mélanie Racine
  • Lawson Health Research Institute, Ontario, Canada
  • Beryl & Richard Ivey Rheumatology Day Programs, St. Joseph’s Health Care, Ontario, Canada
  • Clinical and Neurological Sciences Department, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Santiago Galán
  • Chair in Pediatric Pain URV-FundaciónGrünenthal and Unit for the Study and Treatment of Pain – ALGOS, Catalonia, Spain
  • Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC), Department of Psychology, Catalonia, Spain
  • Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili; Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Catalonia, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Elena Castarlenas
  • Chair in Pediatric Pain URV-FundaciónGrünenthal and Unit for the Study and Treatment of Pain – ALGOS, Catalonia, Spain
  • Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC), Department of Psychology, Catalonia, Spain
  • Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili; Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Catalonia, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Mark P. Jensen / Jordi Miró
  • Corresponding author
  • Chair in Pediatric Pain URV-FundaciónGrünenthal and Unit for the Study and Treatment of Pain – ALGOS, Catalonia, Spain
  • Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC), Department of Psychology, Catalonia, Spain
  • Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili; Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Catalonia, Spain
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-12-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjpain.2016.08.002

Abstract

Background

Psychological factors are thought to impact headache as triggering, maintaining, and exacerbating factors. A better understanding of the role that modifiable factors, such as anxiety or depression, play in the impact of migraine could help identify potential treatment targets in this population.

Objectives

The objective of this study was to evaluate the relative importance of anxiety and depression as predictors of the impact of migraine on function. Thus, we aim to understand the relative importance that anxiety and depression have on the impact of migraines by assessing both and some life domains.

Methods

Cross-sectional study involving forty-three individuals, mostly females (93%), with migraine headaches aged between 20 and 60 years old. Participants answered questions about headache pain intensity at the time of data collection and the usual in the past 30 days (0–10 Numerical Rating Scales) as well as other pain characteristics (i.e., duration, frequency, and duration), headache impact (vitality and social, role, and cognitive functioning), anxiety and depression by using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

Results

Anxiety (r = 0.56, p < .001), but not depression (r = 0.09, p = .59), was significantly associated with headache impact. Thus showing the relative importance that anxiety has on headache impact.

Conclusions

The findings support a larger role for anxiety than depression in the impact of migraine headaches on patient function. There are a number of mechanisms by which anxiety could potentially influence the impact of headache on patient function, and this study highlights that anxiety could potentially be a trigger of headache activity.

Implications

The findings thus suggest the possibility that treatments that focus on anxiety might be potentially more important for individuals with migraine than treatments that focus on depression, at least with respect to having a beneficial impact on the interference of headache with activity. Research is needed to evaluate the beneficial impact of anxiety treatment in individuals with migraine headaches. Clinicians should evaluate and consider treating, as appropriate and necessary, anxiety in patients with migraine.

Keywords: Migraine; Anxiety; Depression; Headache impact

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About the article

Departament de Psicologia; Universitat Rovira iVirgili, Carretera de Valls, s/n, 43007 Tarragona, Spain. Fax: +34 977558088.


Received: 2016-04-08

Revised: 2016-08-01

Accepted: 2016-08-03

Published Online: 2017-12-29


Ethical issues: Informed consent was requested and subjects signed a written consent form before participating. All study procedures were approved by the Internal Research Review Board of the Department of Psychology of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili.

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflicts of interest associated with this paper.

Funding: This work was partly funded by a research grant from the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT, Portugal; SFRH/BD/36330/2007) awarded to CTP, and grants from Obra Social de Caixabank, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (PFR program), RecerCaixa, and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (PSI2012-32471, PSI2015-70966-P) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Support for MR was provided by The Earl Russell Chair in Pain Medicine, Western Ontario University and by a bequest from Mrs. Beryl Ivey to Dr. Warren R. Nielson London, Ontario. SG is supported by a doctoral grant from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. JM is supported by the Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA-Acadèmia) and Fundacón Grünenthal.


Citation Information: Scandinavian Journal of Pain, Volume 13, Issue 1, Pages 109–113, ISSN (Online) 1877-8879, ISSN (Print) 1877-8860, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjpain.2016.08.002.

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