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Keywords:

  • headache;
  • child;
  • quality of life;
  • migraine

Objective

To determine whether migraine interferes with health-related quality of life (HRQL) and the degree of disability caused by this condition in the daily life of children of both genders aged 6-12 years.

Background

Migraine is a chronic disease with recurrent symptoms that lead to a reduction of daily activity during the crises and during the intercritical periods, with an impact on HRQL.

Methods

The sample consisted of 50 children with migraine without aura being treated at a childhood headache outpatient clinic (study group) and 50 children with no history of headache selected at a pediatric outpatient clinic (control group). The Pediatric Migraine Disability Score questionnaire was applied to the study group in order to determine the disability provoked by headache in daily life, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory4.0 was applied to both groups to determine HRQL.

Results

Children with migraine were absent from school activities, did not perform household tasks, and did not participate in leisure activities for 23.9 days, on average, during the last 3 months because of migraine. Disability was absent or mild in 38% of the children, whereas 14% showed severe disability. HRQL was similar in both groups regarding self-evaluation, whereas it was perceived as being worse by the parents of children with migraine. Children with migraine had a worse school and emotional quality of life as determined by self-perception. According to the perception of the parents, children with migraine had a worse general, physical, and psychosocial quality of life. Absenteeism from school activities, household tasks, and leisure was not correlated with HRQL.

Conclusion

Although migraine was a cause of school absenteeism, most of the children with migraine showed little or no disability regarding daily life activities and their quality of life was similar to that of children without headache.