Relationship between daily mood and migraine in children

Cynthia W. Karlson*, Catrina C. Litzenburg, Marilyn L. Sampilo, Michael A. Rapoff, Mark Connelly, Jennifer L. Bickel, Andrew D. Hershey, Scott W. Powers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background Retrospective and cross-sectional studies have suggested a bidirectional relationship between migraine and mood disturbance. Objective The present prospective daily diary study examined the prevalence and temporal associations between migraine and daily mood, mood and next-day headache, and headache and next-day mood. Methods Sixty-nine children (50 females, 19 males) between the ages of 7 and 12 years and their parents attending neurology clinic appointments and having a diagnosis of migraine as defined by International Headache Classification 2nd edition criteria completed measures on the quality of life, headache disability, child emotions, and child behaviors. Children and parents then recorded children's headache occurrence, headache duration, headache severity, mood, daily hassles, and medication use on paper diaries once a day for 2 consecutive weeks. "Mood" was defined using the Facial Affective Scale, which is a visual representation of negative and positive affect. Data were analyzed using multilevel models. Results Controlling for age, sex, quality of life, headache disability, and medication use, worse mood was associated with same-day occurrence, longer duration, and more severe headache in both child and parent report. Today's mood was not consistently associated with next-day headache, and today's headache was not associated with next-day mood in either child or parent report. Conclusions Results of this study lend support to a complex relationship between mood and headache in children with migraine. More research is needed to further elucidate the temporal nature of this relationship within a given day and over an extended period of time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1624-1634
Number of pages11
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • children
  • daily diary
  • daily hassle
  • migraine
  • mood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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