, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 441-445,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 10 Oct 2009

Depression and anxiety are not related to nummular headache


Nummular headache (NH) is a clinical picture characterized by head pain that is exclusively felt in a round, elliptical, or oval area of the head. Although there is evidence supporting an organic origin for NH, some authors question this origin, hypothesizing a potential role for psychological factors. Our aims were to investigate the differences in anxiety and depression between NH patients and healthy controls, and to analyse if these conditions were related to pain parameters in NH patients. The Beck depression inventory (BDI-II) and the trait anxiety scale from state-trait anxiety inventory (STAI) were administered to 26 patients with NH and 34 comparable matched controls. No significant interactions between group (NH patients, controls) in either depression (U = 391; p = 0.443) or anxiety levels (U = 336; p = 0.113) were found. Both groups showed similar scores in the BDI-II (patients: 3.9 ± 2.9; controls: 3.46 ± 3.15) and STAI (patients: 17.23 ± 10.3; controls: 13.5 ± 7.9). Moreover, neither depression nor anxiety showed association with mean pain intensity, pain intensity in exacerbations, size of pain area, or pain frequency. Our study demonstrated that self-reported depression and anxiety were not related to the presence of NH. Further, longitudinal studies are still needed to elucidate the role of mood state in the course of NH.