Psychopathology in children and adolescents with primary headaches: Categorical and dimensional approaches

Psychiatry Unit, Child Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neurosciences and Sense Organs of the "Aldo Moro" University of Bari, Italy.
Cephalalgia (Impact Factor: 4.89). 07/2013; 33(16). DOI: 10.1177/0333102413495966
Source: PubMed


Recurrent headache is common in childhood, but there is not a great amount of data on the associations between headaches and psychopathology in children.
The aim of this study is to examine the relationships between primary headaches and psychopathology in children, using both the categorical and dimensional assessment.
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.
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.
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.

Download full-text


Available from: Francesco Craig, Mar 11, 2015
  • Source
    • "Overall behavioral disorders have been reported as more common in children who experience headache than in controls.56 Specifically, internalizing symptoms are common in children with headaches, while externalizing symptoms (eg, rule-breaking and aggressivity) are not significantly more common than in controls.57,58 "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Empirical evidence of the important role of the family in primary pediatric headache has grown significantly in the last few years, although the interconnections between the dysfunctional process and the family interaction are still unclear. Even though the role of parenting in childhood migraine is well known, no studies about the personality of parents of migraine children have been conducted. The aim of the present study was to assess, using an objective measure, the personality profile of mothers of children affected by migraine without aura (MoA). A total of 269 mothers of MoA children (153 male, 116 female, aged between 6 and 12 years; mean 8.93 ± 3.57 years) were compared with the findings obtained from a sample of mothers of 587 healthy children (316 male, 271 female, mean age 8.74 ± 3.57 years) randomly selected from schools in the Campania, Umbria, Calabria, and Sicily regions. Each mother filled out the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - second edition (MMPI-2), widely used to diagnose personality and psychological disorders. The t-test was used to compare age and MMPI-2 clinical basic and content scales between mothers of MoA and typical developing children, and Pearson's correlation test was used to evaluate the relation between MMPI-2 scores of mothers of MoA children and frequency, intensity, and duration of migraine attacks of their children. Mothers of MoA children showed significantly higher scores in the paranoia and social introversion clinical basic subscales, and in the anxiety, obsessiveness, depression, health concerns, bizarre mentation, cynicism, type A, low self-esteem, work interference, and negative treatment indicator clinical content subscales (P < 0.001 for all variables). Moreover, Pearson's correlation analysis showed a significant relationship between MoA frequency of children and anxiety (r = 0.4903, P = 0.024) and low self-esteem (r = 0.5130, P = 0.017), while the MoA duration of children was related with hypochondriasis (r = 0.6155, P = 0.003), hysteria (r = 0.6235, P = 0.003), paranoia (r = 0.5102, P = 0.018), psychasthenia (r = 0.4806, P = 0.027), schizophrenia (r = 0.4350, P = 0.049), anxiety (r = 0.4332, P = 0.050), and health concerns (r = 0.7039, P < 0.001) MMPI-2 scores of their mothers. This could be considered a preliminary study that indicates the potential value of maternal personality assessment for better comprehension and clinical management of children affected by migraine, though further studies on the other primary headaches are necessary.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Headache is one of the most common neurological symptom reported in childhood and adolescence, leading to high levels of school absences and being associated with several comorbid conditions, particularly in neurological, psychiatric and cardiovascular systems. Neurological and psychiatric disorders, that are associated with migraine, are mainly depression, anxiety disorders, epilepsy and sleep disorders, ADHD and Tourette syndrome. It also has been shown an association with atopic disease and cardiovascular disease, especially ischemic stroke and patent foramen ovale (PFO).
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · The Journal of Headache and Pain
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Headaches that last less than an hour in duration are uncommon, except for atypical migraine, and without a practitioner's appropriate knowledge, may result in misdiagnosis. Although most of these headaches are classified as primary headache syndromes, some have secondary etiologies such as structural lesions. Methods: This pediatric-specific review updates these headache syndromes. Included are atypical migraine, the trigeminal autonomic cephalgias, idiopathic stabbing headache, cranial neuralgias, occipital neuralgia, thunderclap headache, nummular headache, the red ear syndrome, and the numb-tongue syndrome. Conclusion: Knowledge of the clinical characteristics of these headache patterns in children allows physicians to quickly establish the headache diagnosis and develop the optimal treatment plan.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Pediatric Neurology
Show more