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Pediatric chronic headache causes significant impairment to those affected and bears the risk of aggravation into adulthood. Intensive interdisciplinary pain treatment (IIPT) was found to positively affect pain-related and emotional outcomes in pediatric patients with chronic pain up to 4 years after treatment. This study was aimed at investigating the effect of IIPT on solely pediatric chronic headache patients. As part of a longitudinal observation study, n = 70 children and adolescents with chronic headache receiving IIPT were included, of which n = 47 completed the assessment at four assessment time points: before treatment (PRE) and at three follow-ups (6-MONTH FOLLOW-UP, 1-YEAR FOLLOW-UP, and 4-YEAR FOLLOW-UP). Pain-related (pain intensity, pain-related disability, school absence), as well as psychological outcome domains (anxiety, depression), were investigated. The results support the short-term and long-term efficacy of IIPT for pediatric chronic headache patients regarding the pain-related outcome measures by significant reductions from PRE to all follow-up measure points. For anxiety and depression, only short-term improvements were found. Future studies should specifically focus on the identification of methods to consolidate the beneficial short-term effects of IIPT on psychological outcome domains in the long term.


Meltem Dogan, Boris Zernikow, Julia Wager. Short-Term and Long-Term Effectiveness of Intensive Interdisciplinary Pain Treatment for Children and Adolescents with Chronic Headache: A Longitudinal Observation Study. Children (Basel, Switzerland). 2021 Mar 12;8(3)

PMID: 33809278

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