Anatomy of a Headache

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Long-Acting Opioids for
Refractory Chronic

Study results for a group
of difficult-to-treat
migraineurs provide a
basis for determining
efficacy and guidelines
for the use of long-term
opioids in this


Heatherís Chronic
Migraine: an Interactive
Case History

This column will take you,
step by step, through
the diagnosis of a complex
headache patient with
the pseudonym of "Heather."



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Assessment of Chronic Refractory Headache: The Role of the MMPI-2
Kurman RG, Hursey KG, Mathew NT
Posted: January 2010
Headache  1992;32:432-435

We investigated the utility of the newly revised version of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the MMPI-2, for assessing psychopathology in three diagnostic headache groups: Post Traumatic, Status Migrainosus, and Status Migrainosus with Analgesic Rebound. We also investigated whether distinct clusters of headache sufferers could be identified using the MMPI-2 clinical scales, and whether these clusters coincide with headache diagnosis. Eighty-one patients in treatment at the Houston Headache Clinic were diagnosed and administered the MMPI-2. Significant levels of psychopathology were found in all three diagnostic groups. Furthermore, Cluster Analysis identified three clusters of patients with equal proportions of patients from the three diagnostic groups. Cluster 1 patients were abnormally high on many MMPI-2 clinical scales; Cluster 2 patients showed more moderate elevations, and Cluster 3 patients had essentially normal profiles. We concluded that the MMPI-2 offers additional information not available through medical diagnosis alone. Thus, it is crucial to include psychological assessment in any comprehensive evaluation of chronic headache patients.

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