Group Education and Multidisciplinary Management for Chronic Headaches Among Adolescents in a Military Treatment Facility: A Retrospective Chart Review

Andrew Ormond, Brian M. Faux, Betty A. Zickefoose, James Aden, Patricia E. Kapunan, Timothy A. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To assess the effect of group education on the frequency of chronic headaches among adolescents. Background: Chronic headaches are a common problem among adolescents with significant psychosocial morbidity. Brief education on lifestyle interventions to decrease headache frequency has established benefits among adult patients but is less proven among adolescents. Methods: This study is a chart review examining our experience with a group education program for 155 adolescents, aged 12-17 years old, enrolled in the U.S. military medical system with at least 3 months of chronic headaches who were referred to a headache evaluation clinic. The primary outcome of our study was self-reported number of days with a headache in the previous 30 days based on patient recall. We used a paired samples t-test to measure the change in headache frequency between the frequency reported at the headache class and follow-up more than 6 months after the class. Results: Most of the adolescents seen in the program were female (114/155 [73.5%]) and suffered from migraine headaches (108/155 [69.8%]). Severe headache-related disability was reported by 40.6% of subjects (63/155). Subjects reported an average of 19 days with headache during the previous 30 days. Females and patients with higher headache-related disability reported a higher number of days with headache. Participation in the group education was associated with an 11.5 (SD 11.9, P <.001) day decrease in the frequency of headaches during the previous 30 days at follow-up at least 6 months after the class, with largest decline seen in patients with the highest level of migraine-related disability at baseline. Conclusion: Based on our retrospective chart review study, group education on headache evaluation and lifestyle management has potential as an effective, low-cost intervention for treatment of chronic headaches among adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-578
Number of pages9
JournalHeadache
Volume58
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • adolescent
  • education
  • headache
  • multidisciplinary
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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