Connaughton, J., & Wand, B. (2017). Prevalence, characteristics and management of headache experienced by people with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder: a cross sectional cohort study. Australasian Psychiatry, Early View (Online First).
Objective: Headache is the most common type of pain reported by people with schizophrenia. This study aimed to establish prevalence, characteristics and management of these headache.
Method: One-hundred participants with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder completed a reliable and valid headache questionnaire. Two clinicians independently classified each headache as migraine (MH), tension-type (TTH), cervicogenic (CGH) or other (OH).
Results: The twelve-month prevalence of headache (57%) was higher than the general population (46%) with no evidence of a relationship between psychiatric clinical characteristics and presence of headache. Prevalence of CGH (5%) and MH (18%) was comparable to the general population. TTH (16%) had a lower prevalence and 19% of participant’s experienced OH. No-one with MH was prescribed migraine specific medication, no-one with CGH and TTH received best-practice treatment
Conclusion: Headache is a common complaint in people with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder with most fitting recognised diagnostic criteria for which effective interventions are available. No-one in this sample was receiving best-practice care for their headache.
schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, headache, prevalence, management