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Validation of a German Language Questionnaire for Screening for Migraine, Tension-Type Headache, and Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalgias


  • Guenther Fritsche PhD,

  • Michael Hueppe PhD,

  • M. Kukava,

  • A. Dzagnidze MD,

  • Markus Schuerks MD,

  • M.-S. Yoon MD,

  • Hans-Christoph Diener MD, PhD,

  • Zaza Katsarava MD

  • From the Department of Neurology, University Hospital Essen, Germany (Drs. Fritsche, Kukava, Dzagnidze, Schuerks, Yoon, Diener, and Katsarava); Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Luebeck, Germany (Dr. Hueppe).

Address all correspondence to Dr. Guenther Fritsche, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Essen, University of Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45122 Essen, Germany.


Background.—To develop a German language questionnaire for screening for migraine, tension-type headache, and trigeminal autonomic cephalgias.

Objective.—Aim of the study was to develop a German language self-administered headache questionnaire for screening for migraine (MIG), tension-type headache (TTH), and trigeminal-autonomic cephalgias (TAC).

Methods.—Questionnaire-based diagnoses were blindly compared with those of headache experts.

Results.—Overall 278 headache patients (MIG = 97, TTH = 60, TAC = 98, MIG plus TTH = 23) as well as 42 patients with low back pain without headache and 47 healthy subjects were studied. The Cohen's kappa for 7 headache syndromes including all combination diagnoses was 0.64 (95% CI 0.58-0.70). Sensitivity and specificity for migraine were 0.73 and 0.96, for TTH 0.85 and 0.98, for TAC 0.63 and 0.99, and for MIG plus TTH 0.62 and 0.97, respectively. Ignoring all combination diagnoses, the kappa-coefficient for the monodiagnoses MIG, TTH, and TAC (193 out of 278 patients) was 0.93 (CI 0.83-1.0). The retest-reliability (4 weeks later) was 0.95.

Conclusion.—We present the first questionnaire in German language including 3 most common primary headaches for use in epidemiological research.