Children's Drawings Can Aid Migraine Diagnosis

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Mar 04 – Children's drawings can be an effective adjunctive aid in the differential diagnosis of headache, according to a clinical trial conducted at the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and reported in the March issue of Pediatrics.
"The study transpired because I became so struck by the details and fascinating pictures that my headache patients were drawing," lead investigator Dr. Carl E. Stafstrom told Reuters Health. The pictures may offer insight into children's headaches and may provide information the children may not be able to express verbally because they are too young or because they may be more adept at drawing.

Dr. Stafstrom requested 226 children to make pencil drawings that showed the location of their pain, what their pain feels like, and any other changes or symptoms that accompany the headache. Dr. Stafstrom completed the clinical evaluation and diagnosed the headache type without examining the pictures. He diagnosed migraine or mixed headache with a prominent migraine component in 57.5% of the children.

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