To date there are no structured interviews to ascertain the diagnostic criteria for headache in children. The objective of this study was to assess the validity of the Diagnostic Interview of Headache Syndromes–Child Version (DIHS-C), which was developed at the National Institute of Mental Health for a community-based family study of headache syndromes and comorbid disorders.


The DIHS-C is a fully structured diagnostic interview composed of an open-ended clinical history, modules with key symptoms for each of the major headache subtypes, and associated impairment, duration, frequency, course, and treatment. This article presents the validation of the interview in a sample of 104 children evaluated as part of a community-based family study of migraine.


The sensitivity of interview diagnosis compared with an expert neurologist’s diagnosis of migraine was 98%, and the specificity was 61%. Similar levels of sensitivity and specificity were found by gender and age of the children.


The DIHS-C provides a new tool that can enhance the reliability of pediatric diagnoses in both clinical and community settings.

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