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Migraine Frequency and Intensity:
Relationship With Disability and Psychological Factors
Jane E. Magnusson, PhD; Werner J. Becker, MD
Posted: January 2004
Background: Migraine can be disabling, but it
varies greatly in frequency and intensity between individuals. It is not
clear which clinical features have the greatest impact on a migraineurís
Objective: To determine the influence of
headache intensity and frequency on headache-related disability.
Results: In our patient population, higher mean
headache intensity levels were associated with higher levels of
headache-related disability. Our results also suggested that
increased headache intensity is associated with higher levels
of depression and emotional distress, although this correlation
was statistically significant in only 1 of 4 comparisons.
Headache frequency did not correlate with disability, depression,
or emotional distress.
Conclusions: For a headache referral population,
headache intensity appears to be a major determinant of headache-related
disability, and it also correlates, to some extent, with the degree of
depression and emotional distress present. Headache frequency was not
clearly related to disability or psychological factors.