Knowledge on the quality of life of children with headache is lacking. Until now only a few studies in this field have provided information on a limited number of life domains. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of life in a comprehensive number of life domains in children with primary headache presenting at an out-patient paediatric department in a general hospital. From October 2003 to October 2005 all children referred to the out-patient paediatric department of the Vlietland Hospital because of primary headache were investigated by protocol. A thorough history was taken and a general physical and neurological examination was performed. The International Headache Society criteria were used for classification. Quality of life (QoL) was measured using the Dutch version of the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ-PF50 Dutch edition) and compared with data from a previously investigated cohort of healthy children from the same region, and with data from a cohort of children from the USA with asthma or with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), investigated with the CHQ-PF50. A total of 70 primary headache patients were included in the study (25 with tension-type headache, 36 with migraine, seven with chronic tension-type headache, two with both tension-type headache and migraine). Their mean age was 10.6 years (range 4-17 years); 37 children were male. On all but one subscale (self-esteem) the QoL of the children with primary headache was decreased compared with the cohort of healthy children, especially on the domains of mental health, parental impact time and family cohesion. Compared with the cohort of children with asthma the QoL was significantly worse for our headache group on seven subscales and significantly better on one subscale (general health perception). Compared with the cohort of children with ADHD, the QoL was significantly worse on six subscales but significantly better on three subscales. There were no significant differences on any QoL subscale between children with tension-type headache and children with migraine. We conclude that the QoL in children with primary headache presenting at the out-patient paediatric department of a general hospital seems to be considerably diminished. Furthermore, we conclude that, in this population there is no difference in QoL between children with tension-type headache and those with migraine.

CHQ, Children, General hospital, Headache, Quality of life
dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2982.2008.01774.x, hdl.handle.net/1765/25225
Cephalalgia: an international journal of headache
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bruijn, J.K.J, Arts, W.F.M, Duivenvoorden, H.J, Dijkstra, N, Raat, H, & Passchier, J. (2009). Quality of life in children with primary headache in a general hospital. Cephalalgia: an international journal of headache, 29(6), 624–630. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2982.2008.01774.x