Migraine equivalents and related symptoms, psychological profile and headache features: Which relationship?

Samuela Tarantino, Cristiana De Ranieri, Cecilia Dionisi, Valentina Gagliardi, Alessandro Capuano, Federico Vigevano, Simonetta Gentile, Massimiliano Valeriani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Migraine equivalents are common clinical conditions in children suffering from headache. Very few studies dealt with the psychological profile of children/adolescents with migraine equivalents. Our main aim was to compare the psychological profile between migraine children with and without migraine equivalents. Moreover, as secondary aim, exclusively in children with migraine equivalents, we investigated the possible relationship between migraine attack frequency and intensity and psychological factors. Methods: We enrolled 136 young migraineurs. They were divided in two groups (patients with and without migraine equivalents). The psychological profile was assessed by means of SAFA Anxiety and Somatization questionnaires. Results: Migraine equivalents were present in 101 patients (74.3 %). Anxiety (p = 0.024) and somatization (p = 0.001) levels, but not hypochondria (p = 0.26), were higher in patients with migraine equivalents. In children with migraine equivalents, a low frequency of attacks was related to separation anxiety (p = 0.034). Conclusions: Migraine equivalents patients tend to feel more fearful and to experience more shyness. This, together with the tendency to somatization, may lead them to become vigilant in attachment relationships with their caregivers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number54
JournalJournal of Headache and Pain
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 29 2015


  • Anxiety
  • Children
  • Hypochondria
  • Migraine equivalents
  • Psychological factors
  • Somatization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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