MMPI and Headache: A Special Focus on Differential Diagnosis, Prediction of Treatment Outcome, and Patient-Treatment Matching

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The relation between personality characteristics and the psychological functioning of headache patients has long been a topic of interest. Early investigations focused on clinical and anecdotal reports while recent research has moved toward a more objective evaluation of headache groups by using the MMPI. However, the findings from diverse studies have not been integrated, nor has a rationale for the use of these data in the clinical management of headache been formally presented. The focus of this review is to present a concise, integrated analysis of previous group MMPI headache studies and apply these findings to differential diagnosis, prediction of treatment outcome, and client-treatment matching. Five selected clinical case studies indicating various degrees of psychopathology in migraine headache patients are presented to highlight treatment issues in support of an idiographic utilization of the MMPI for the clinical treatment of headache patients.

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Pain, v. 24, issue 2, p. 143-158