The brief, parent-report Psychosocial Assessment Tool 2.0_General (PAT) questionnaire may be effective for screening psychosocial risks in children and adolescents with recurrent headache, a study in Headache reports.

Youths with recurrent (migraine with or without aura) or tension-type headache (episodic or chronic) were recruited from a specialty care pediatric neurology clinic (n=239; mean age, 14 years and 7 months). Data collected at baseline included the 57-item PAT, validated measures of adolescent emotional and behavioral functioning, parent emotional functioning, and family functioning. In addition to the PAT, the researchers also used the Child Behavior Checklist-Parent Report (CBCL), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults -State Scale (STAIS), Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI), and McMaster Family Assessment Device (FAD). Results from baseline examination were compared with 6-month follow-up responses.

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Researchers found a strong internal consistency for the PAT Total score (α=0.88). PAT Total score correlated with measures of child emotional and behavioral functioning (r=0.62), parent anxiety and depressive symptoms (r=0.49 and r=0.53, respectively), and family functioning (r=0.21) at baseline. PAT Total scores at baseline were predictive of child emotional and behavioral functioning (r=0.64), parent anxiety (r=0.37), parent depression (r=0.42), and family functioning (r=0.26) at 6 months. At 6-month follow-up, higher baseline PAT Total scores correlated with higher scores on CBCL Total problems (r=062; P <.0001), STAI (r=0.37; P <.0001), BDI (r=0.48; P <.0001), and FAD (r=0.26; P <.0001).

Limitations of the study were the inclusion of a predominantly Caucasian and middle-class patient population as a focus on pediatric patients.

Nevertheless, the researchers concluded that their findings “support the potential clinical utility of the PAT as a screening tool to identify youth with headache who may be at elevated risk for poor psychosocial outcomes.”

Disclosure: None of the study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.

Reference

Law EF, Powers SW, Blume H, Palermo TM. Screening family and psychosocial risk in pediatric migraine and tension-type headache: validation of the Psychosocial Assessment Tool (PAT) [published online July 18, 2019]. Headache. doi:10.1111/head.13599.