Descriptive Features and Causal Attributions of Headache in an Australian Community
Article first published online: 26 JUN 2002
Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain
Volume 36, Issue 4, pages 246–250, April 1996
How to Cite
Fernandez, E. and Sheffield, J. (1996), Descriptive Features and Causal Attributions of Headache in an Australian Community. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 36: 246–250. doi: 10.1046/j.1526-4610.1996.3604246.x
- Issue published online: 26 JUN 2002
- Article first published online: 26 JUN 2002
- Accepted for publication September 20, 1995.
- Cited By
- causal attributions;
- mental stress;
- environmental stimuli;
- cross-cultural differences
The reported characteristics and causes of headache differ across individuals and between groups. Such differences are of interest from an epidemiological point of view. This study set out to identify the main descriptive features and causal attributions of headache within an Australian urban community. A sample of 261 subjects reporting headache volunteered to participate in the survey. Subjects completed a self-report questionnaire for assessing demographic variables, headache parameters (intensity, duration, etc), headache medication habits, and perceived causes of one's headache (as in the UK headache survey by Blau, 1990). Results revealed that the typical headache sufferer was a middle-aged employed individual. Migraine versus tension headache were equivalent in number, and on the average, subjects experienced moderate intensity, day-long headaches that recurred about nine times per month. With regard to causal attributions, the prevalence of headaches due to mental stress was higher than that due to any other single stimulus (eg, noise, exercise), and alcohol was the most frequent dietary cause of headache. These findings are generally consistent with those from previous surveys, although some interesting departures emerge which may be accounted for by demographic differences in the populations studied.