The role of headache chronicity among predictors contributing to quality of life in patients with migraine: a hospital-based study
Migraine is a significant pain problem for almost one third of women in the United States. Little previous research has been conducted regarding the effects of migraine headache on the lives of women migraineurs. The purpose of this report is to determine the contribution of coping, depressive symptomatology, and the chronic pain experience on disability and quality of life in women with migraine. Two hundred and forty-seven women responded to a mailed survey about migraine headache, the chronic pain experience, coping, depressive symptomatology, and quality of life. Data were collected with the following: the Classification and Diagnostic Criteria for Headache Disorders, Cranial Neuralgias, and Facial Pain; the McGill Pain Questionnaire; the Chronic Pain Experience Instrument-Headache; the Coping Strategies Questionnaire; the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale; the Henry Ford Hospital Disability Inventory; and the Migraine-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the amount of variance that could be explained by selected predictor variables. Women ranged in age from 18 to 66 years and migraineurs reported suffering from migraine from 1 to 54 years. Nearly half of the migraineurs (41.5%) reported migraine headaches occurring monthly, and almost a quarter of the sample reported weekly migraines. Migraines were reported to last for several hours (53.4%). Results indicate that migraine headache pain was typically severe and throbbing, lasting for hours to days. The coping, depressive symptomatology, disability, and quality-of-life variables were all significantly correlated. Two separate regression analyses that examined predictor variables and the criterion variables, disability and quality of life, showed that a significant amount of both constructs could be explained by the predictor variables in the model tested. In the first regression analysis, depressive symptomatology, the chronic pain experience, and migraine headache pain accounted for 62.9% of the variance in disability. In the second regression analysis, 64.8% of the variance in quality of life was accounted for by depressive symptomatology, migraine headache pain, and the chronic pain experience. The variance in both outcome variables, disability and quality of life, was accounted for by similar predictor variables: depressive symptomatology, the chronic pain experience, and migraine headache pain. Further study is needed to determine specific personal and illness-related factors, pain characteristics, and coping strategies used that may predict outcomes of migraine headache such as disability, quality of life, helplessness, and other as yet unidentified effects of migraine headache.