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Headache prevalence and characteristics among adolescents in the general population: a comparison between retrospect questionnaire and prospective paper diary data.

Larsson B, Fichtel A - J Headache Pain (2014)

Bottom Line: In the present school-based study, a convenience sample of 237 adolescents in grade 6-9 and second year in high school (age 12-18 years) was recruited from a city and a smaller town.Most of the school children suffered from tension-type headaches and a smaller portion of migraine attacks.The overall results showed that school children significantly (p < 0.001) overestimated headache intensity in questionnaires as compared to diary recordings, whereas they underestimated frequency (p < 0.001) and duration (p < 0.001) of headaches.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Regional Centre for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Welfare, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. bo.larsson@ntnu.no.

ABSTRACT

Background: In the present school-based study, a convenience sample of 237 adolescents in grade 6-9 and second year in high school (age 12-18 years) was recruited from a city and a smaller town. The aim of the study was to compare information on the prevalence and various characteristics of headaches not related to disease in a retrospect questionnaire and prospective daily recordings of headaches in a standard paper diary during a 3-week period.

Methods: Besides headache severity, number of headache days, intensity levels and duration of headache episodes were estimated with both assessment methods. Most of the school children suffered from tension-type headaches and a smaller portion of migraine attacks.

Results: The overall results showed that school children significantly (p < 0.001) overestimated headache intensity in questionnaires as compared to diary recordings, whereas they underestimated frequency (p < 0.001) and duration (p < 0.001) of headaches. While the correlations on headache severity, frequency and duration between retrospect information in questionnaires and prospective diary recordings were low, the agreement varied with levels of headache characteristics.

Conclusions: Our findings concur well with results from a few similar community studies on headache complaints in school-aged children. We recommend that prospective recordings in diaries should be systematically used in clinical practice but also in epidemiological surveys to increase the validity and reliability in estimates of point prevalence of headache complaints in children and adolescents.

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Participant flow in the study.
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Figure 1: Participant flow in the study.

Mentions: The present convenience sample of adolescents aged 12-18 years in a regular public school population was recruited from one city (Uppsala with about 187.000 inhabitants, 2007) and one town (Östhammar with about 21000 inhabitants in the municipality, 2007) in the same county in Sweden. In the city, the adolescents were recruited from 5 different schools consisting of four compulsory schools (grade 6-9) and one high school (11th year of schooling). In the town, one compulsory school participated (grade 6-9) and two classes from each grade were invited to participate in the study. The school principals at each school approved the study and selected the classes together with the teachers in the study. The selection process of adolescents in the sample is presented in Figure 1. Out of a total of 550 invited school children, 8.7% (n = 48) were unable to participate due to school absence or travelling. Thus, 502 adolescents (91.3%) were asked to fill out a questionnaire on headache characteristics and to keep a headache diary on paper for three weeks (see details below). Demographic information on gender and age was complete for 464 students (92.4%) and incomplete for 25 students (5%), who returned the questionnaires. Reasons for nonresponse were school absence, illness and unwillingness to participate further in the study. In the questionnaire, adolescents were initially asked whether they had experienced headache during the last year. Those with no headache or only associated with infections, fever or other diseases (n = 163; 35.1%) were asked to stop filling out the form after the initial question.


Headache prevalence and characteristics among adolescents in the general population: a comparison between retrospect questionnaire and prospective paper diary data.

Larsson B, Fichtel A - J Headache Pain (2014)

Participant flow in the study.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4256970&req=5

Figure 1: Participant flow in the study.
Mentions: The present convenience sample of adolescents aged 12-18 years in a regular public school population was recruited from one city (Uppsala with about 187.000 inhabitants, 2007) and one town (Östhammar with about 21000 inhabitants in the municipality, 2007) in the same county in Sweden. In the city, the adolescents were recruited from 5 different schools consisting of four compulsory schools (grade 6-9) and one high school (11th year of schooling). In the town, one compulsory school participated (grade 6-9) and two classes from each grade were invited to participate in the study. The school principals at each school approved the study and selected the classes together with the teachers in the study. The selection process of adolescents in the sample is presented in Figure 1. Out of a total of 550 invited school children, 8.7% (n = 48) were unable to participate due to school absence or travelling. Thus, 502 adolescents (91.3%) were asked to fill out a questionnaire on headache characteristics and to keep a headache diary on paper for three weeks (see details below). Demographic information on gender and age was complete for 464 students (92.4%) and incomplete for 25 students (5%), who returned the questionnaires. Reasons for nonresponse were school absence, illness and unwillingness to participate further in the study. In the questionnaire, adolescents were initially asked whether they had experienced headache during the last year. Those with no headache or only associated with infections, fever or other diseases (n = 163; 35.1%) were asked to stop filling out the form after the initial question.

Bottom Line: In the present school-based study, a convenience sample of 237 adolescents in grade 6-9 and second year in high school (age 12-18 years) was recruited from a city and a smaller town.Most of the school children suffered from tension-type headaches and a smaller portion of migraine attacks.The overall results showed that school children significantly (p < 0.001) overestimated headache intensity in questionnaires as compared to diary recordings, whereas they underestimated frequency (p < 0.001) and duration (p < 0.001) of headaches.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Regional Centre for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Welfare, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. bo.larsson@ntnu.no.

ABSTRACT

Background: In the present school-based study, a convenience sample of 237 adolescents in grade 6-9 and second year in high school (age 12-18 years) was recruited from a city and a smaller town. The aim of the study was to compare information on the prevalence and various characteristics of headaches not related to disease in a retrospect questionnaire and prospective daily recordings of headaches in a standard paper diary during a 3-week period.

Methods: Besides headache severity, number of headache days, intensity levels and duration of headache episodes were estimated with both assessment methods. Most of the school children suffered from tension-type headaches and a smaller portion of migraine attacks.

Results: The overall results showed that school children significantly (p < 0.001) overestimated headache intensity in questionnaires as compared to diary recordings, whereas they underestimated frequency (p < 0.001) and duration (p < 0.001) of headaches. While the correlations on headache severity, frequency and duration between retrospect information in questionnaires and prospective diary recordings were low, the agreement varied with levels of headache characteristics.

Conclusions: Our findings concur well with results from a few similar community studies on headache complaints in school-aged children. We recommend that prospective recordings in diaries should be systematically used in clinical practice but also in epidemiological surveys to increase the validity and reliability in estimates of point prevalence of headache complaints in children and adolescents.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus