Medication-overuse headache and personality: A controlled study by means of the MMPI-2: Research submission

Grazia Sances, Federica Galli, Serena Anastasi, Natascia Ghiotto, Giuseppina De Giorgio, Vincenzo Guidetti, Caterina Firenze, Stefania Pazzi, Roberto Quartesan, Marcello Gallucci, Giuseppe Nappi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective.-The main aim of this study involves comparing the personality profiles of patients with medication-overuse headache (MOH) and episodic headaches, in order to elucidate the role of personality characteristics, according to one of the most widely used and validated personality assessment tool: Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2). Background.-Many studies have assessed the personality of headache patients by means of MMPI-2 only using clinical and content scales. In this study the supplementary scales were also used as they evaluate different aspects of personality, particularly broad personality characteristics, generalized emotional distress and behavioral dyscontrol. Methods.-We recruited 219 subjects (151 women and 68 men) who were grouped in the following categories: MOH group (n = 82); episodic headache group (n = 82; 58 migraine aura; 6 migraine with aura; 6 frequent episodic tension-type headache; 12 migraine+infrequent episodic tension-type headache) and 1 group of 55 healthy controls. MMPI-2 was employed. Data were computed with one-way anova and post hoc analyses. Results.-Medication-overuse headache and episodic headache patients (EH) showed a very similar pattern, differentiating each other only in the Hypochondriasis (Hs) (P =.007; MOH: mean 14.18 [SD 5.53]; EH: mean 11.93 [SD 5.88] and Health Concerns [HEA]) (P =.005; MOH: mean 14.06 [SD 5.38]; EH: mean 11.81 [SD 5.59]) scales. Surprisingly, no differences were found between the 3 groups in the scales measuring dependence-related behavior such as Addiction Potential Scale (Aps) and Addiction Admission Scale (Aas). MOH and episodic headache patients scored significantly higher in the so-called neurotic scales Hs (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-209
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Assessment
  • Dependence
  • Medication-overuse headache
  • MMPI-2
  • Personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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