Headache Chronification: Screening and Behavioral Management of Comorbid Depressive and Anxiety Disorders

Authors

  • Todd A. Smitherman PhD,

    1. From the Head Pain Center, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA (TA Smitherman, DB Penzien); Department of Family Medicine, Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills, CA, USA (M Maizels).
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  • Morris Maizels MD,

    1. From the Head Pain Center, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA (TA Smitherman, DB Penzien); Department of Family Medicine, Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills, CA, USA (M Maizels).
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  • Donald B. Penzien PhD

    1. From the Head Pain Center, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA (TA Smitherman, DB Penzien); Department of Family Medicine, Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills, CA, USA (M Maizels).
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  • Conflict of Interest: No

Todd A. Smitherman, Head Pain Center, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.

Abstract

A growing body of literature implicates comorbid psychopathology as a risk factor for chronification of headache. Despite their prevalence, comorbid psychiatric conditions are not routinely assessed among headache patients. Consequently, efforts to manage such conditions are not commonplace either. The present article briefly reviews a variety of strategies and measures for psychiatric screening among headache patients, focusing primarily on those that have been validated in medical settings, that can be administered quickly, and that involve minimal associated costs. We also describe basic strategies for behavioral management of comorbid depression and anxiety in headache patients.

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