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Cephalalgia. 2013 Dec;33(16):1311-8. doi: 10.1177/0333102413495966. Epub 2013 Jul 4.

Psychopathology in children and adolescents with primary headaches: categorical and dimensional approaches.

Author information

  • 1Psychiatry Unit, Child Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neurosciences and Sense Organs of the "Aldo Moro" University of Bari, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recurrent headache is common in childhood, but there is not a great amount of data on the associations between headaches and psychopathology in children.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study is to examine the relationships between primary headaches and psychopathology in children, using both the categorical and dimensional assessment.

METHODS:

The sample consisted of 70 patients with primary headache compared to a matched sample of 50 healthy children. Psychiatric comorbidity was defined according to the diagnostic criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders. Child psychopathology outcomes were assessed using child- and parent-reported standardized instruments.

RESULTS:

Internalizing and externalizing problems were significantly represented among children with headaches compared to the control group, respectively 63% and 27%, without significant differences between migraine and tension-type headache children. Moreover, a total of 26% of the children with a headache reported psychiatric comorbidity such as anxiety and mood disorders.

CONCLUSION:

The dimensional approach improves accuracy in the recognition of emotional and behavioral problems compared to the categorical approach; however, the use of both of these approaches could be useful for clinical practice, treatment and research.

KEYWORDS:

Primary headache; children; migraine; psychiatric comorbidity; tension-type

PMID:
23827982
[PubMed - in process]
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