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Tension-type Headache in Children: A Clinical Evaluation
Sarioglu B., Erhan E., et al.
Posted: June 2004  
Pediatr Int. 2003;45:186-189

Background:   International Headache Society (IHS) criteria for episodic tension-type headache were included in the present study. Pain characteristics, associated symptoms, and stress-triggering factors were evaluated. Psychiatric and psychosocial evaluations were performed according to DSM-IV criteria.

Results:   Pain was bilateral in 93.7% of patients and bitemporal in 50% of children. The intensity of pain increased with motion and stress in more than half of the patients, while pain decreased with rest and massage in 43.7% of patients. Ten of the 16 patients were diagnosed as having a psychiatric disorder. The most common stress-triggering factors were difficulty in adaptation at school and relationship problems with family members. All of the children reported 26 stress factors. Of these stress factors, 20 were reported by children diagnosed with psychiatric disorder.

Conclusion:   These results suggest that in children with tension-type headache a thorough psychiatric evaluation should be performed to rule out underlying psychiatric disorders.