A Replication and Generalization of the “Psychobiological” Model of Headache

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Bakal and Kaganov 1 recently reported data supporting a “psychobiological” approach to the study of headache pain. Their results suggested that individuals delineated by degree of self‐reported headache pain would differ on quantitative rather than qualitative headache characteristics. The present study was an attempt to systematically replicate and generalize the above findings. Seventy‐eight undergraduates and 25 chronic headache patients rated the extent to which common symptoms accompanied their “usual” headache on a five point scale. Subjects were divided into groups on the basis of: subjective ratings of headache problem, headache frequency, and headache type. Results were consistent with the psychobiological model. Individuals rating degree of headache problem as moderate or severe reported a significantly greater incidence of symptoms than non‐problem subjects. Headache frequency was not related to quantitative differences in headache symptomatology. Migraine and chronic muscle contraction (CMC) patients reported similar symptoms that differed significantly on quantitative (frequency) characteristics. The results replicate and generalize Bakal and Kaganov's findings and suggest that the model may help explain etiological factors in headache development. Results are discussed with regard to the need for future research in the area.

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Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, v. 20, issue 4, p. 199-203