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Multiple Perspectives on the Psychological
Functioning of Children with and without Migraine
Vannatta K, Getzoff EA, et al.
Posted: September 2008  
Headache   2008;48:994-1004

Objective:   To use a case-control design to evaluate the emotional and behavioral functioning of children with migraine.

Background:   Research has indicated that children with migraine are at increased risk for emotional and behavioral problems such as depression and anxiety; however, methodological limitations in sample definitions, measurement strategies, and comparison groups remain problematic.

Method:   Forty-seven participants diagnosed with migraine at a pediatric headache center participated in a home-based study of child functioning using standardized measures. Mothers and fathers of these children participated, as did control families recruited from among classmates.

Results:   Indications of increased emotional and behavioral difficulties for children with migraine were found, primarily from the perspective of mothers. Exploratory analysis found several associations between mother and child perceptions of difficulties and persistence of headache symptoms following initiation of multidisciplinary headache treatment.

Conclusions:   Continued concern regarding emotional well-being of children with migraine is warranted, but more work is needed to understand the differing perspectives of family members. Particular attention to emotional well-being is needed for children whose headache symptoms persist despite multidisciplinary treatment.