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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Volume 15 Supplement 1

Abstracts from the 4th European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress: EHMTIC 2014

Open Access

EHMTI-0161. Personality profiles of patients with chronic post-traumatic headache: a case-control study

  • D Kjeldgaard Nielsen1,
  • H Forchhammer2,
  • TW Teasdale3 and
  • RH Jensen1
The Journal of Headache and Pain201415(Suppl 1):C30

Published: 18 September 2014


Psychological DistressMental DistressSymptom ChecklistPersonality ProfileHigh Neuroticism


The aetiology of chronic post-traumatic headache (CPTH) after mild head injury is unclear, but psychological stress and personality factors have been suggested as both causing and maintaining factors. Research is scarce and it is uncertain whether patients with CPTH share a specific personality profile and if the profile differ from other chronic headache patients.


To investigate whether CPTH is distinguished from other chronic headache patients in terms of mental distress, general personality characteristics and traits specifically as measured by the The Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R).


Ninety patients with CPTH and 45 control patients with chronic primary headaches were enrolled from the Danish Headache Center. They completed NEO-PI-R personality assessment, The Symptom Checklist (SCL-90-R) and a headache diary for 4 weeks.


The scale scores and the levels of psychological distress did not differ between the CPTH and the headache control group. CPTH patients with a headache duration over two years had a higher score on the domain Neuroticism (p=0.002), but lower Extraversion (p=0.001) and lower Openness (p=0.038) on the NEO-PI-R.


In contrast to prior hypothesis patients with CPTH were not characterised by a specific personality profile although long lasting CPTH was associated to higher neuroticism and a lower degree of extraversion and openness. No differences were found in the reported level of psychological distress in patients with CPTH compared to a headache control group.

No conflict of interest.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Neurology Glostrup Hospital, Danish Headache Center University of Copenhagen, Glostrup, Denmark
Department of Neurology Glostrup Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Glostrup, Denmark
The Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark


© Nielsen et al; licensee Springer. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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