The relationship between early maladaptive schemas and three dimensions of headache impact in Iranian outpatients with chronic migraine without aura


1 Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Baqiyatallah Medical University, Tehran, Iran

2 Spirituality and Medical research center, Baqiyatallah Medical University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

4 New Hearing Technologies Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran

5 Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Tehran, Iran

6 Baqiyatallah Medical University, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Although many researches showed that there are several psychiatric comorbidities in people suffering from migraine headache, few studies investigated the relationship between deep psychopathological structures and headache variables. The purpose of the present study was to elucidate the relationship between early maladaptive schemas and three dimensions of headache impact, pain intensity, disability and affective distress among Iranian outpatient females suffering from chronic migraine without aura.Methods: 136 consecutive outpatients suffering from a chronic migraine without aura were recruited from 553 consecutive outpatients complaining of a persistent headache and/or referred to a specialized headache clinic in Baqiyatallah Hospital. All participants completed two questionnaires regarding Schema Questionnaire–Short Form  McGill Pain Questionnaire–Short Form, Migraine Disability Assessment Scale, and the the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-Trait subscale. Finally, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients and multiple regression analyses were calculated to investigate relationships between the research variables.Results: The data analyses indicated that a significant amount of the variance of pain intensity was explained by self-sacrifice, emotional inhibition, and unrelenting standards/hypercriticalness. Also, self-sacrifice and unrelenting standards/hypercriticalness explained a significant amount of the variance of disability.  Further, a significant amount of variance of affective distress explained by emotional inhibition and unrelenting standards/hypercriticalness.Discussion: The findings emphasize on the predictive role of this early maladaptive schemas, especially early maladaptive schemas of the domain of overvigilance/inhibition.  Also, this study implicitly suggests that schema therapy can be an appropriate remedy for reducing headache impact dimensions, at least, in Iranian female outpatients suffering from migraine without aura.


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