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How Children and Parents Evaluate the Headache
Centerís Intervention
Ferrari Anna, Pileri F, et al.
Posted: March 2009  
Headache   2009;49:194-201


Background:   While adult headache patientsí satisfaction with treatments has been widely investigated, less attention has been paid to children and adolescent headache patientsí opinions and their parents' views.

Objective:   The aim of our follow-up survey was to analyze the outcomes of the Headache Centerís intervention and the evolution of headache according to patients until the age of 16, and their parents.

Methods:   We studied all outpatients suffering from episodic primary headache seen for the first time in 2005-2006 at the Headache Center, and at least one of their parents. The duration of the follow-up ranged from 1 to 3 years.

Results:   We enrolled 84 patients with primary headache: migraine without aura, episodic tension-type headache, and migraine with aura. At the follow-up, 70% of the patients reported that headache had improved; frequency had decreased significantly more than severity, both in those who had followed a prophylactic treatment and in those who had not. A high percentage of the children and parents could precisely indicate trigger factors for headache; especially excessive worrying and studying. The patients reporting an improvement attributed it to pharmacological prophylactic treatment, but also to other factors; first of all, better school results and more happiness than before. Seventy-seven percent of the parents thought that the Headache Centerís intervention had helped them to better understand and manage their childrenís headache.

Conclusions:   Childrenís and adolescentsí headache has in most cases a favorable prognosis. We much increase and focus therapeutic efforts addressed to the few patients with worsening headaches in spite of treatment, since these childrenís/adolescentsí headache also is at risk to progress in the adult age.