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Children With Migraine Do Not Have More Psychiatric Problems

Have more somatic complaints, but these are likely consequence of disease, not dysfunctional traits

WEDNESDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Children with migraine do not, as previously thought, have more psychiatric and social problems than healthy children, according to a review article published online July 5 in Pediatrics.

Jacques Bruijn, M.D., of Vlietland Hospital in Vlaardingen/Schiedam, Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the literature to identify clinical studies that assessed psychiatric comorbidity and/or psychological functioning.

The researchers found strong evidence that children with migraine do not have more psychosocial or psychiatric comorbidity than healthy children; specifically, they do not have more withdrawn, delinquent, or aggressive behavior; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; conduct disorder; dysthymia; depression; social problems; or thought problems. The researchers did find that children with migraine had more somatic complaints and internalizing behaviors, but this was considered to be disease related as opposed to a psychiatric comorbidity.

"More clinical studies are needed to further explore psychological functioning and psychiatric comorbidity in children with migraine by using the same outcome measures with relatively large samples and using appropriate statistical testing. For clinical practice, in general, it does not seem necessary to refer a child with migraine to a child psychologist or a child psychiatrist unless clinical features or behavior warrant such referral," the authors write.

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