Frequency of headache among university students and its effect on daily living activities
Kirnap, Nazli Gursoy
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Background & Objective: Headache is a common symptom in the general population. The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of headache among a university students population in Ankara, Turkey; and to evaluate the factors affecting the headache and the effect of headache on students' quality of life. Methods: A face-to-face questionnaire was applied to all participants in the study. In the questionnaire, demographic data, personal background and family history of the participants as well as the presence of headache were collected. The characteristic features of the headache, accompanying symptoms and medication use for the headache were evaluated. The 36-Item Short Form Survey (SF-36), Beck depression and Beck anxiety scales were administered to all participants. Results: Three hundred and sixty six university students participated in the study. Three hundred and thirty one participants (90.4%) had experienced headache at least once in their lifetime. Headache was more common in women (p 0.01). Depression was found in 135 (36.9%) students with the Beck depression scale, and anxiety was found in 236 (64.5%) students with the Beck anxiety scale. There was no relationship between depression or anxiety and the presence of headache (p 0.05). Emotional role difficulties, social function, pain and general health scores were significantly lower on SF-36 in the group with headache (p<0.05) than without headache. Conclusion: Headache adversely affects the quality of life and is a common symptom among university students, independent of depression and anxiety.