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Quality of Life and Health-Related Disability in Children With Migraine


  • Gabriela Natália Ferracini MD,

    1. Department of Neurosciences and Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto (FMRP-USP), Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil
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  • Fabíola Dach PhD,

    1. Headache Outpatient Clinic of the University Hospital of Ribeirão Preto (FMRP – USP), Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brasil
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  • José Geraldo Speciali PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurosciences and Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto (FMRP-USP), Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil
    • Address all correspondence to J.G. Speciali, Department of Neuroscience and Behavioral Sciences. Hospital of the Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Avenida dos Bandeirantes, 3900-14048-900, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brasil, email:

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  • Conflict of Interest: None.
  • Research supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP).



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.