Open Access

The MMPI-2 in women with headache or facial pain. A comparative study

  • Franco Mongini,
  • Erika Barbalonga and
  • Fabio Raviola
The Journal of Headache and PainOfficial Journal of the Italian Society for the Study of Headaches1:00010105.10194

DOI: 10.1007/s101940070050


Our purpose was to apply the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2) to groups of women with different types of headache and facial pain. 117 women with tension-type headache (TTH), migraine (M), facial pain disorder as somatoform disorder (FP), myogenous facial pain (MP), or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) were given in the Italian version of the MMPI-2. The level of pain was assessed with the visual analogue scale (VAS). A configural analysis of the MMPI profiles was also performed. Data were analysed with one-way ANOVA, chi-square analysis and Pearson's correlation coefficient. FP and TH patients showed the highest scale elevation and TMJ patients the lowest. The TMJ group had the highest prevalence of “coper” configuration and the FP group the lowest. A correlation was found between VAS and MMPI-2 scores for hypochondria, hysteria and paranoia. We conclude that: chronic pain may alter the patient's personality characteristics; patients with facial pain disorder show the highest tendency to neurotism and psychoticism; and in patients with migraine, TTH and MP, the psychological component may vary conspiquously. These factors should be taken into account when selecting the treatment options.