The relation between emotion regulation and migraine: A cross-cultural study on the moderating effect of culture

Johanna Wolf*, Daisuke Danno, Takao Takeshima, Linda M. G. Vancleef, Hiroo Yoshikawa, Charly Gaul

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Effects of emotion suppression on physical health might be contingent on culture. Existing research on emotion regulation has mainly included western participants. Herewith the question arises, whether this gained expertise is transferable to an Asian culture.
Objectives: This cross-sectional study evaluated to what extent the regulation of emotions is related to migraine and if the relation between emotion regulation and migraine complaints differs between a Western and an Asian population. Therefore, the main characteristics and symptoms of patients with migraine from both Germany and Japan are compared.
Methods: 261 Japanese and 347 German headache patients participated in this online study and completed self-report measures of emotion regulation (suppression and reappraisal) and headache complaints.
Results: Cultural groups did not differ regarding their demographic data, intake of medication and number of days with headache. German participants showed significantly higher levels of anxiety and lower levels of emotion suppression compared to Japanese patients. Emotion regulation is not correlated with headache complaints either in the Japanese or in the German patient group.
Conclusion: Although group differences were found with respect to anxiety and emotion suppression, subsequent regression analysis revealed these differences were unrelated to headache complaints. As our baseline analysis focused on group means, approaches that examine individual reaction patterns to stress and accompanying sensory stimulus processing may prove to be more fruitful and illuminating.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-392
Number of pages9
JournalCephalalgia
Volume40
Issue number4
Early online date5 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Emotions
  • headache
  • triggers
  • psychotherapy
  • Japan
  • multidisciplinary approach
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • HOSPITAL ANXIETY
  • HEALTH ANXIETY
  • SELF-REPORT
  • SUPPRESSION
  • DEPRESSION
  • CONSEQUENCES
  • VALIDATION
  • MEMORY
  • SCALES

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