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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Migraine predicts physical and pain symptoms among psychiatric outpatients

Ching-I Hung1, Chia-Yih Liu1 and Shuu-Jiun Wang2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou and Chang-Gung University School of Medicine, Taoyuan, Taiwan

2 Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital and National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, No. 201 Shi-Pai Road, Section 2, Taipei 112, Taiwan

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The Journal of Headache and Pain 2013, 14:19  doi:10.1186/1129-2377-14-19

Published: 27 February 2013



No study has been performed to compare the impacts of migraine and major depressive episode (MDE) on depression, anxiety and somatic symptoms, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among psychiatric outpatients. The aim of this study was to investigate the above issue.


This study enrolled consecutive psychiatric outpatients with mood and/or anxiety disorders who undertook a first visit to a medical center. Migraine was diagnosed according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd edition. Three psychometric scales and the Short-Form 36 were administered. General linear models were used to estimate the difference in scores contributed by either migraine or MDE. Multiple linear regressions were employed to compare the variance of these scores explained by migraine or MDE.


Among 214 enrolled participants, 35.0% had migraine. Bipolar II disorder patients (70.0%) had the highest percentage of migraine, followed by major depressive disorder (49.1%) and only anxiety disorder (24.5%). Patients with migraine had worse depression, anxiety, and somatic symptoms and lower SF-36 scores than those without. The estimated differences in the scores of physical functioning, bodily pain, and somatic symptoms contributed by migraine were not lower than those contributed by MDE. The regression model demonstrated the variance explained by migraine was significantly greater than that explained by MDE in physical and pain symptoms.


Migraine was common and the impact of migraine on physical and pain symptoms was greater than MDE among psychiatric outpatients. Integration of treatment strategies for migraine into psychiatric treatment plans should be considered.

Depression; Anxiety; Headache; Pain; Quality of life; Somatization