Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Clinical and Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Benjamin D. Hill, Ph.D.


Objective: A meta-analysis was conducted comparing cognition on clinical measures between individuals with a primary headache disorder (PHD) and healthy controls (HC). Data Selection: The University of South Alabama Libraries’ OneSearch and PubMed, with a uniform search-strategy, were used to locate original research comparing cognition between PHD and HC samples. Analyses were modeled under random effects. Hedge’s g was used as a bias-corrected estimate of effect size. Between-study heterogeneity was assessed using Cochran’s Q and I2. Data Synthesis: The initial search interval spanned inception–May 2021 and yielded 6692 results. Fifty-seven studies were analyzed. Meta-analysis showed a significant combined effect size of migraine across all studies (g = -0.42, p < 0.001), with high heterogeneity (Q = 446.02, I2 = 87.44). Trim-and-fill procedure estimated 0 studies to be missing due to publication bias. Meta-regressions indicated HC age, PHD level of education, and frequency of headache attacks were related to effect sizes Conclusions: Through use of neuropsychological tests, individuals with a PHD experience difficulties in multiple aspects of cognition.

Available for download on Thursday, September 24, 2026