Educational Research

Educational Research (ISSN:2141-5161) Vol. 4(3), pp. 286-293, March, 2013         
Copyright © 2013 International Research Journals

 

Full Length Research Paper

Alexithymia in headache sufferers: A psychosomatic symptom or comorbidity in adolescents?

*1Elisabetta Tozzi, 1Giuseppe Andrisani, 2Daniela Maiorani, 1Letizia Pezzi, 1Roberta Leopardi, 1Nicoletta Fiorentini, and 1Enzo Sechi

1Maternal and Child Department, Neuropsychiatric Clinic, L’Aquila University Hospital, L’Aquila, Italy

2Maternal and Child Department, Paediatric Clinic, L’Aquila University Hospital, L’Aquila, Italy

*Corresponding Author E-mail: elisabetta.tozzialleva@univaq.it

Received March 12, 2013; Accepted March 20, 2013 

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between Alexithymia and Primary Headaches in children and adolescents. The present work represents an observational research. The aim of this study is to clarify whether there is: (a) a significant correlation between primary headache and alexithymia in patients in developmental age; and (b) a significant difference in prevalence of alexithymia between patients with migraine and patients with tension-type headache. This study was carried out on a clinical group of 35 subjects, 11 males and 24 females, and a control group of 35 subjects, 12 males and 23 females. Primary headache was diagnosed by applying the International Headache Classification (ICHD-II, 2004) criteria while the alexithymic construct were measured using the Italian version of Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Higher rates of alexithymia were observed in the children of the clinical group rather than in the control group; in particular we didn’t found any significant correlation between alexithymia rates and migraine/tension-type headache diagnosis.

Keywords: Headache, Childhood, Adolescence, Alexithymia, Psychopathology.

 

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