Headache Drugs Logo Robbins Headache Clinic
Home | About Dr. Robbins | Archived Articles | Headache Books | Topic Index | Links  

Back to List



Predictors of Disability in Migraineurs
Referred to a Tertiary Clinic: Neck Pain,
Headache Characteristics, and Coping Behaviors
Ford S, Calhoun A, Kahn K, Mann J, Finkel A.
Posted: June 2008  
Headache   2008;48:523-528

Objective:   The aim of this retrospective study was to determine if neck pain, select headache characteristics, and migraine-related coping response predicted disability in migraineurs referred to a tertiary headache clinic.

Methods:   Patients seeking treatment at a neurology-based headache clinic were included if they met diagnostic criteria for migraine with or without aura. Subjects completed a self-report headache history form and a detailed headache and neurologic examination. The headache history form assessed: 1) weekly headache frequency; 2) number of weekly severe headaches; 3) presence of migraine-related neck pain; 4) photophobia; 5) phonophobia; 6) headache duration; 7) vomiting; 8) monthly headache-free days; and 9) behavioral coping style. Disability was assessed using a self-report inventory.

Results:   Self-reported headache severity, frequency, and headache-free days were strongly associated with disability. The presence of neck pain during migraine and one’s coping response to migraine significantly predicted disability independent of headache characteristics.

Conclusion:   These data suggest the need for prospective research exploring the causal mechanisms by which neck pain and coping response influence disability and underscores the importance of multidisciplinary approaches to headache management.