J Clin Neurol.  2012 Mar;8(1):69-74. 10.3988/jcn.2012.8.1.69.

Personality Characteristics of Male Sufferers of Chronic Tension-Type and Cervicogenic Headache

  • 1Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Zhejiang University School of Sciences, Hangzhou, China. wangmufan@msn.com
  • 2Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China.
  • 3Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology of Chinese Ministry of Health and of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, China.


AND PURPOSE: Chronic tension-type headache (a primary headache disorder) and cervicogenic headache (a secondary headache disorder that is attributable to upper cervical spine pathology) share similar clinical manifestations, but their associated personality traits may differ. We evaluated the personality differences between sufferers of chronic tension-type headache and cervicogenic headache.
We administered the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire (ZKPQ) and the Zuckerman Sensation-Seeking Scale (SSS) to 18 patients suffering from chronic tension-type headache, 19 suffering from cervicogenic headache, and 26 healthy volunteers. Depressive trends were measured with the Plutchik-van-Praag Depression Inventory (PVP).
Compared to healthy controls, the chronic tension-type headache group scored significantly higher on ZKPQ Neuroticism-Anxiety and on the PVP, while the cervicogenic headache group scored significantly lower on SSS Thrill and Adventure Seeking. In addition, the total SSS score was significantly lower in the cervicogenic headache group than in both the chronic tension-type headache group and the healthy controls.
The results of this study indicate that higher scores for neuroticism-anxiety and depression were associated with chronic tension-type headache, while lower sensation-seeking scores were associated with cervicogenic headache.


cervicogenic headache; chronic tension-type headache; personality traits
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