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The Journal of Headache and Pain

Official Journal of the "European Headache Federation" and of "Lifting The Burden - The Global Campaign against Headache"

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Open Access

Personality in patients with migraine evaluated with the "Temperament and Character Inventory"

  • S. Sánchez-Román1Email author,
  • J. F. Téllez-Zenteno1, 5,
  • F. Zermeño-Phols2,
  • G. García-Ramos1,
  • A. Velázquez3,
  • P. Derry4,
  • M. Hernández6,
  • A. Resendiz6 and
  • U. M. Guevara-López6
The Journal of Headache and Pain20078:352

Received: 1 October 2006

Accepted: 26 October 2006

Published: 15 January 2007


The objective of this study was to assess the personality profile of a sample of Mexican patients with migraine using the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). A cross-sectional study was performed including adult migraine patients identified from the outpatient neurology clinics of two large teaching hospitals in Mexico City. Patients were asked to voluntarily participate in the study. A physician conducted a standardised diagnostic interview adhering to the criteria of the International Headache Society (IHS). Patients were interviewed and administered the TCI. We used two healthy controls groups and a third group of non-migraine pain controls. One hundred and fortytwo subjects with migraine, 108 healthy blood donors, 269 young healthy controls and 30 patients with non-migraine pain (NMP) were included in the study. Patients with migraine had higher scores in the dimension harm avoidance (HA) and all its sub-dimensions (p<0.05) than healthy patients. Patients with non-migraine pain had high scores in HA and low scores in novelty seeking, self-directedness and cooperativeness. Blood donors had high scores in the following subdimensions: HA1, HA4 and C3 (Cooperativeness). Personality features consistent with migraine are avoidance, rigidity, reserve and obsessivity. Our study shows that patients with chronic pain share some of the personality features of patients with migraine but their TCI profile could be indicative of cluster C avoidant personality. Blood donors were shown to have more energy, with a tendency to help other people and be more optimistic. The results support serotoninergic involvement as explaining the physiopathology of migraine.


PersonalityMigraineHeadacheTCITemperamentCharacterHarm avoidance


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