Date of Award

1986

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Recently, investigations have examined the possible link between the Type A Behavior Pattern (TABP) and chronic headache. Several studies have indicated a significant relation between Type A, as measured by the Jenkins Activity Survey (JAS), and headache frequency. As well, several researchers have noted the similarities in the descriptions of the Type A individual and those characteristics of the "migraine personality." To date, no prospective study has examined whether that set of characteristics ascribed to migraineurs is in fact the TABP. The second focus of this investigation was to provide a comprehensive description of the psychological functioning of Type A and B headache sufferers across several domains: psychopathology, social functioning, health beliefs and behaviors, and daily stress monitoring. Sixty chronic headache sufferers (30 tension, 30 migraine) volunteered as subjects for this investigation. Participants provided full headache histories and were diagnosed by both a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology and a neurologist according to Ad Hoc Committee criteria. All participants kept headache diaries for eight weeks and completed several psychological questionnaires including the JAS. Approximately fifty-three percent of migraineurs were classified as Type A (at or greater than 75th%ile) compared to only 23% of muscle contraction headache volunteers, p < .05. Statistical analyses also revealed significant relations between Type A and several headache pain parameters (i.e., frequency, intensity). Statistical differences were also obtained between Type A and B headache sufferers in several domains. Results revealed that a significant proportion of migraine headache sufferers are Type A. This strongly implies that the construct of Type A needs to be expanded beyond the traditional notion (i.e., coronary-prone) to a newer, more general conceptualization (i.e., vascular-prone). As well, significant differences on several measures of psychological functioning revealed noteworthy and insightful descriptions of Type A and B headache sufferers. Treatment implications and future investigations are highlighted.

Pages

155

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