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J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2007 Jul;19(7):378-82.

Prevalence and management of headache in a university undergraduate population.

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University of Tampa, Tampa, Florida, USA.



The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the incidence, morbidity, and management of headaches in university undergraduate students. The authors also explored choice of reliever medications for headaches in an effort to assess potential needs for patient education concerning effective headache management.


Data were collected from a convenience sample of 104 students. The Headache Assessment Quiz was used to measure type and severity of headache and to collect data on symptom management.


A majority of students surveyed reported experiencing headaches of moderate to severe intensity. Sixty percent of respondents indicated that headaches interfered with their usual activities while 92.5% reported use of nonprescription relievers only for headache management. Knowledge of headache prevention and treatment is lacking in this age group.


Headaches are a common symptom in the college age population. Further research is needed to determine the incidence of specific types of headaches. Primary care providers are challenged to address patient education in this population as well as to assist patients in properly diagnosing headache types.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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