Comparison of patients with migraine and tension-type headache in terms of somatosensory amplification and health anxiety

Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2019 Nov;77(11):768-774. doi: 10.1590/0004-282X20190132.


Introduction: Although it is known that anxiety and depressive disorders frequently accompany migraine and TTH, the role of somatic amplification (SSA) and health anxiety in these diseases is not adequately known.

Objective: The aim of this study is to compare SSA and health anxiety in patients with migraine or TTH, and healthy controls and to investigate the relationships between SSA, health anxiety, headache characteristics, anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Methods: Fifty-four migraine, 50 TTH patients from the outpatient unit of the neurology department and 53 healthy volunteers were recruited for the study. The somatosensory amplification scale (SSAS), health anxiety inventory, Beck depression (BDI) and anxiety inventory (BAI) were administered to all participants.

Results: The SSAS scores were significantly higher in migraineurs compared with the healthy controls. The health anxiety scores were significantly higher in both migraine and TTH groups. The BDI and BAI scores were also significantly higher in migraine and TTH groups compared with the controls. A significant positive correlation was found between headache frequency and BAI scores, the visual analogue scale scores and SSAS and BDI scores in migraineurs. The SSAS scores were also significantly correlated with the BDI and BAI scores in both of the headache groups. A similar correlation was determined with the health anxiety scores.

Conclusions: While patients with migraine and TTH evalute, taking into account the SSA and health anxiety may contribute to the prognosis and treatment of these diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / psychology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Reference Values
  • Self Report
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Somatosensory Disorders / psychology*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Tension-Type Headache / psychology*
  • Young Adult