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Psychological Well-being in Older Adults Suffering From Chronic Headache

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Objective.—The aim of this study was to examine two components of psychological well-being—life satisfaction and effective well-being—in community-dwelling elderly with (n=321) and without chronic headache (n=4955).

Methods.—A checklist of chronic medical conditions was used to determine whether respondents were suffering from headache. Cantril's ladder was employed to measure life satisfaction. The subscale, Mental Health, from the MOS SF-20 was used to assess affective well-being.

Results.—Headache sufferers reported lower life satisfaction as well as lower affective well-being. However, the difference in life satisfaction between the two groups disappeared after controlling for comorbidity. The difference in affective well-being disappeared after controlling for neuroticism.

Conclusions.—Lower life satisfaction in patients with chronic headache is caused by more comorbid diseases in the headache group. Lower affective well-being in headache sufferers is due to higher levels of neuroticism in the headache group.
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Keywords: chronic headache; elderly; well-being

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: From the Department of Health Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Groningen, The Netherlands (Dr. Jelicic) and the 2: Northern Centre for Healthcare Research (Dr. Kempen), School of Medicine, University of Groningen, The Netherlands and the 3: Department of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy, School of Medicine, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands (Dr. Passchier).

Publication date: April 1, 1998

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