Prevalence and profile of obsessive-compulsive trait in patients with chronic migraine and medication overuse

M. Curone, V. Tullo, C. Lovati, A. Proietti-Cecchini, D. D'Amico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with chronic migraine (CM) and medication overuse headache (MOH) have high frequency of psychiatric comorbidity or psychopathological traits, the presence of which can influence the clinical course. The presence of subclinical obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is underestimated in migraine patients. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence and profile of obsessive-compulsive (OBS) trait in a sample of CM patients with MOH using the OBS questionnaire of Spectrum Collaborative Project. According to the new international classification of headache disorders (ICHD-III beta) criteria, 106 patients (15 M, 91 F, mean age 47.3 years) were selected in a consecutive clinical series. Our results showed that 36 % of patients with CM and MOH were positive at OBS-questionnaire. As far as the profile of OBS trait, we performed an evaluation of prevalence of items separating the first part of the questionnaire (childhood/adolescence and doubts in lifetime) from the other five domains: 21 % of the patients showed prevalence of items in childhood/adolescence domain; 79 % in doubts in lifetime domain; as for other five domains, 10.5 % of patients had prevalence of pathological answers among hypercontrol, 5.2 % in spending time, 23.7 % in perfectionism, 29 % in repetition and automation, and 31.5 % in specific themes (obsessive thoughts). The presence of subclinical OCD in migraine patients, and the link between progression to CM, particularly through MO, and OBS trait is still not well defined. The use of specific tools to assess this possible comorbidity should be encouraged in clinical and research settings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Chronic migraine (CM)
  • Medication overuse headache (MOH)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive trait

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Dermatology
  • Medicine(all)


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