Have you ever wondered what affects the occurrence of migraines? Psychologists at NUI Galway’s School of Psychology are interested in examining this phenomenon in adults from Ireland and the UK, and want to investigate the psychological factors that could contribute to migraines by carrying out an online study.
Estimates for the prevalence of migraine in Ireland vary roughly between 600,000 and 900,000. There is an estimated 1 to 1.09 billion people affected by migraine worldwide according to the most recent research from the World Health Organisation. While not the most common type of headache, migraine is estimated to be the most burdensome and merits further investigation from all disciplines.
The researchers plan to investigate the impact psychological factors such as attachment style, childhood experiences, dissociation, current stress, anxiety and mood has on migraine. They aim to collect responses from adults diagnosed with migraine from Ireland and the UK with a view to analysing and publishing the results.
The study is being carried out by Iain Mays, Trainee Clinical Psychologist, Professor Brian McGuire, Co-Director for the Centre for Pain Research, and Dr Jonathan Egan, Deputy Director of the Doctorate Programme in Clinical Psychology at NUI Galway.
Dr Jonathan Egan, School of Psychology, NUI Galway, said that sychological factors are important in that they may influence how a person reacts to how a migraine headache is managed and whether they feel that they can access support or not. “Stressful life events in childhood may predispose people to developing chronic health conditions including migraines and we want to research whether this is true in a large sample of people experiencing migraine in Ireland,” he said.
Iain Mays, School of Psychology, NUI Galway, said there is a growing awareness of the impact of migraine in Ireland.
“This has been documented with the publishing of the Migraine Quick Reference Guide by the Irish College of General Practitioners in February, along with important awareness campaigns such as Brain Awareness Week in March and more recently Migraine Awareness Week in September.