Appraisal and coping responses to pain and stress in migraine headache sufferers

H J Hassinger, E M Semenchuk, W H O'Brien
Journal of Behavioral Medicine 1999, 22 (4): 327-40
The purpose of this study was to investigate how migraine headache sufferers and headache-free controls differ in their appraisal and coping responses to a cognitive (mental arithmetic) and a physical (cold pressor) laboratory stressor. Fifty-two women (26 migraine headache and 26 controls) completed the study. Results indicated that migraine sufferers rated the cold pressor task as significantly more painful compared to headache-free participants. Migraine headache sufferers also reported more wishful thinking and self-criticism in managing the mental arithmetic stressor. In addition, migraine participants reported the use of more social withdrawal and catastrophizing in managing stress and pain outside of the laboratory.

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