Thesis Title

A Descriptive Study of the Impact of Migraine Headaches on Children's Lifestyles

Date of Graduation

Fall 2002

Degree

Master of Science in Nursing

Department

Nursing

Committee Chair

Kathryn Hope

Subject Categories

Nursing

Abstract

There is a significant prevalence of migraine headaches in children, yet there is less focused attention on migraines in children than in adults. Pediatric migraine is a very complex disorder with debilitating symptoms that disrupt activities of daily living, school, and play. The purpose of this study was to discover the impact of migraine headaches on children's lifestyles. A convenience sample of children between the ages of six and thirteen who have acute recurrent debilitating headaches, with or without a neurological evaluation, was selected from an urban midwestern area. The sample consisted of twenty children. Once informed consent was obtained from the children and their parents, an interview schedule that assessed impact on lifestyle was administered to the children via telephone. The study utilized a triangulated research design, so that the impact of migraines on children's lifestyles could be captured. Data were analyzed by using content analysis, and drawing common themes and patterns from the children's responses. The results indicated that migraines in children caused debilitating symptoms, and disrupted school activities and play. The duration and frequency of migraines, in addition to the other symptoms that occurred along with the migraines, greatly impacted the participants' lifestyles. The findings of this study wlil be useful to children with migraines, their parents, and healthcare providers by increasing their knowledge about pediatric migraines, which will increase the recognition and treatment of migraines.

Copyright

© Sarah Silvey Cates

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