Psychiatric Symptomatology in Migraine Sufferers and the Relationship with Headache-Related Self-Efficacy

Wencel, Lindsay W. (2015) Psychiatric Symptomatology in Migraine Sufferers and the Relationship with Headache-Related Self-Efficacy. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Todd A. Smitherman from Psychology, The University of Mississippi.


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Introduction: Self-efficacy (SE) refers to one’s belief in their ability to successfully complete a task. Increases in SE are associated with improved pain outcomes as well as improvements in anxiety and depression (Turner, 2005). Headache-related self-efficacy (HSE) refers to a person’s belief in his/her ability to manage migraine attacks. Previous studies illustrate that HSE and psychiatric comorbidities are independently related to migraine disability, severity, and treatment outcomes. The purpose of the present study was to assess the relationship between HSE and psychiatric comorbidities among individuals with migraine. Methods: 852 young adult migraineurs (M age = 19.22; 79.9% female; 77.0% Caucasian) completed measures about headache and related variables, including the Headache Management Self-Efficacy Scale (HMSE; French, 2000), the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21; Lovibond, 1995), and the Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL; Wilkins, 2011). Of the 852 migraine participants, 56.8% met criteria for migraine without aura, 25% met for migraine with aura, and 18.2% met for chronic migraine. Linear regressions were run to identify associations between psychiatric symptoms (depression, anxiety, and PTSD) and HSE. Results: Men reported higher HSE than women (M = 108.67 [18.91] vs. 104.66 [21.28], p = .025). Comorbid psychiatric symptoms explained a significant proportion of variance in HSE scores (R2 = .047, p < .001). When controlling for sex, headache frequency, and disability, the percentage of unique variance accounted for by psychiatric comorbidities was 1.5% (p = .005) of the total. Conclusion: Consistent with our hypothesis, a significant relationship exists between comorbid psychiatric symptoms and HSE scores, but psychiatric symptoms only accounted for a small amount of variance in HSE. This small effect size likely indicates that numerous variables influence self-efficacy, and that psychiatric symptoms represent a relatively weak influence; perhaps also stronger relations would be evident in a clinical sample. Future research into variables that affect headache-related self-efficacy would be valuable for piecing together a better understanding of this powerful predictor of headache prognosis.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Wencel, Lindsay W.
Student's Degree Program(s): Psychology
Thesis Advisor: Todd A. Smitherman
Thesis Advisor's Department: Psychology
Institution: The University of Mississippi
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Depositing User: Lindsay Wencel
Date Deposited: 06 May 2015 19:50
Last Modified: 06 May 2015 19:50

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