Recurrent headaches in children: An epidemiological survey of two middle schools in inner city Chicago

Yaw A. Nyame, Andrew P. Ambrosy, Miguel Saps, Papa N. Adams, Gati N. Dhroove, Santhanam Suresh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to longitudinally evaluate the epidemiological characteristics of headaches in a school-based, community setting and to determine the impact of headache symptoms on the health of children. Methods: After institutional review board approval, a prospective cohort study was conducted at two Chicago public schools for a period of 6 months. Members of the research team surveyed both schools weekly for headache and other pain symptoms. The students rated each pain symptom on a 5-point scale from 0 (" not at all" ) to 4 (" a whole lot" ). Demographic information was collected at the time of enrollment, and all participants were asked to complete age-appropriate and validated pediatric surveys to assess the severity of concurrent somatic complaints, anxiety symptoms, functional limitations, and quality of life issues. Results: Of the participating children, 89.5% reported at least one headache during the study period. Females experienced more frequent headaches compared with males (P < 0.05). Children reporting headaches had a significantly increased risk of experiencing other troubling somatic symptoms (P < 0.05). Headache severity showed a moderate correlation with increased feelings of anxiety, functional disability, and a diminished quality of life (P < 0.05). Conclusions: School-aged children commonly experience headaches. Children experiencing headaches are more likely to report other somatic symptoms, feelings of anxiety, functional limitations, and quality of life impairments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-221
Number of pages8
JournalPain Practice
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Children
  • Functional disability
  • Headaches
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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