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J Headache Pain. 2011 Jun;12(3):323-9. doi: 10.1007/s10194-011-0293-9. Epub 2011 Feb 6.

Anxiety disorders in headache patients in a specialised clinic: prevalence and symptoms in comparison to patients in a general neurological clinic.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Campus Großhadern, Marchioninistraße 15, 81377, München,


Data from several studies indicate an association of headache with anxiety disorders. In this study, we assessed and differentiated anxiety disorders in 100 headache patients by using the PSWQ (Penn State Worry Questionnaire) screening tool for generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) and the ACQ (Agoraphobic Cognitions Questionnaire) and BSQ (Body Sensation Questionnaire) for panic disorder (PD). Control groups were constructed: (1) on the basis of epidemiological studies on PD and GAD in the general population and (2) by including neurological patients. 37.0% of headache patients had a GAD. 27% of headache patients met the score for PD in the BSQ, 4.0% in the ACQ. Significant results were obtained in comparison to the general population (p < 0.001) and with regard to GAD in comparison with a sample of neurological patients (p < 0.005). The BSQ significantly correlated with the number of medication days (p < 0.005). The results confirm the increased prevalence of GAD in headache patients. PD seems to increase the risk of medication overuse.

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