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The role of psychosocial risk factors in the burden of headache

Authors Malmberg-Ceder K, Haanpää M, Korhonen PE, Kautiainen H, Veromaa V, Soinila S

Received 11 February 2018

Accepted for publication 1 April 2019

Published 28 May 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 1733—1741


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Erica Wegrzyn

Kirsi Malmberg-Ceder,1,2 Maija Haanpää,3,4 Päivi E Korhonen,5 Hannu Kautiainen,6,7 Veera Veromaa,5,8 Seppo Soinila2,9

1Department of Neurology, Satakunta Central Hospital, Pori, Finland; 2Department of Neurology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland; 3Mutual Insurance Company Ilmarinen, Helsinki, Finland; 4Department of Neurosurgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; 5Department of General Practice, Turku University Hospital, Turku University, Turku, Finland; 6Unit of Primary Health Care, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland; 7Folkhälsan Research Centre, Helsinki, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; 8Central Satakunta Heath Federation of Municipalities, Harjavalta, Finland; 9Division of Clinical Neurosciences/General Neurology, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland

Purpose: Psychosocial risk factors are common in headache patients and affect the impact of headache in multiple ways. The aim of our study was to assess how psychosocial risk factors correlate with the headache impact test-6 (HIT-6). To our knowledge this is the first study to evaluate the impact of several psychosocial factors on the HIT-6 score.
Patients and methods: Our study population consisted of 469 Finnish female employees reporting headache during the past year. Psychosocial risk factors were assessed using validated, self-administered questionnaires: the generalized anxiety disorder 7-item scale (GAD-7) for anxiety, the major depression inventory (MDI) for depressive symptoms, the ENRICHD short social support instrument (ESSI) for social isolation, the cynical distrust scale for hostility and the Bergen burnout indicator (BBI-15) for work stress.
Results: Exploratory factor analysis of the HIT-6 scores revealed two factors, one describing psychological and quality of life aspects affected by headache and the other describing severity of pain and functional decline. Internal consistency of the HIT-6 was 0.87 (95%CI: 0.85–0.89). Correlations between the total HIT-6 score and all measured psychosocial risk factors except for hostility were weak, but statistically significant.
Conclusion: The HIT-6 questionnaire has good construct validity and it describes reliably and independently the impact of headache without interference of psychosocial factors in general working-aged female population.

Keywords: headache, psychosocial, factor analysis, female employee

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