Psychological aspects of weekend headache sufferers in comparison with migraine patients

Headache. 1989 Feb;29(2):93-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.1989.hed2902093.x.


Sometimes the relaxation after stress may trigger a migraine attack. This is the principle that underlies that particular variant of migraine called "weekend headache". We hypothesize the presence in weekend headache prone subjects of a particular psychological background, different from that of common migraine sufferers. In order to detect possible differences supporting our hypothesis, we studied 104 new outpatients: 46 patients suffering from headache only on weekends (23 males and 23 females) and 58 matched common migraineurs (26 males and 32 females) with no weekend predilection. The psychological assessment was performed using the following psychometric tools: MMPI, BDI, STAIX1-X2. A clinical assessment of each patient was also carried out. Significant differences were found after statistically analyzing the test results. Most of the MMPI scales were found to be more elevated in both male and female weekend headache sufferers. From a clinical point of view, the weekend headache attacks proved to be similar to those of common migraine, but with a significantly higher incidence of concomitant symptoms. Our study confirms the important role that psychological factors play in the pathogenesis and clinical development of migraine and leads us to conclude that a psychic tension component is associated with the vascular one in weekend headache.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Headache / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / psychology*
  • Neurotic Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Tests
  • Sex Factors