BACKGROUND: In past decades, numerous population- and hospital-based studies have revealed a relationship between migraine or headache and psychopathology in children. OBJECTIVE: To describe and assess all clinical studies on the prevalence and manifestations of psychological functioning and psychiatric comorbidity in children with migraine and to provide recommendations for its diagnosis and treatment. METHODS: A literature search was performed in Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Database to identify clinical studies that assessed psychological functioning and/or psychiatric comorbidity in children with migraine. Trial quality was assessed according to a standardized and validated set of criteria. RESULTS: Seven studies met our inclusion criteria. Evidence assessment was performed by using the best-evidence synthesis method of Slavin. On the basis of this method, we found strong evidence that children with migraine in a clinical setting do not exhibit more withdrawn behavior, do not have more thought problems, do not have more social problems, and do not exhibit more delinquent or aggressive behavior than healthy children. Furthermore, there is strong evidence that children with migraine have more somatic complaints and exhibit internalizing behavior which is, given the construct of the outcome measure used, a consequence of the nature of their disease rather than a sign of psychological dysfunctioning. Finally, compared with healthy children, there is limited evidence that children with migraine in a clinical setting are more frequently diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder, and they are not more frequently diagnosed with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, dysthymia, or depression. CONCLUSIONS: On the basis of this review, we conclude that children with migraine at referral to a specialist do not exhibit more psychological dysfunctioning and (to a lesser extent) do not exhibit more psychiatric comorbidity compared with healthy controls.

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Pediatrics (English Edition)
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bruijn, J.K.J, Locher, H, Passchier, J, Dijkstra, N, & Arts, W.F.M. (2010). Psychopathology in children and adolescents with migraine in clinical studies: A systematic review. Pediatrics (English Edition) (Vol. 126, pp. 323–332). doi:10.1542/peds.2009-3293