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Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Chronic Post-traumatic Headache Patients


John T. Chibnall, M.S., Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, 1221 South Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63104



The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was examined in a sample of chronic post-traumatic headache patients. All subjects had been injured in a motor vehicle accident and had developed headache or experienced marked exacerbation of an existing headache condition as a result. Nearly 30% of the sample was diagnosed with PTSD. Depression and suppressed anger were significantly higher in subjects with PTSD compared to the rest of the sample. Those with PTSD were more likely to have a history of headache prior to the accident than subjects without PTSD. Comparisons between the PTSD and non-PTSD groups on other headache and demographic variables were non-significant. The importance of evaluating post-traumatic headache patients for the presence of PTSD is discussed.