Measurement Properties of Headache-Specific Outcomes Scales in Adolescent Athletes

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Recurrent headaches significantly affect health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in adults; the impact of headache on HRQOL among adolescents is unknown, and the psychometric properties of headache-specific outcomes instruments have not been adequately studied in this population.


To evaluate the psychometric properties of the Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) and Pediatric Migraine Disability Assessment (PedMIDAS) in healthy adolescent athletes.


Descriptive survey.


High school athletic training facilities during the fall sports season.


177 high school athletes (89 males and 88 females).


A survey consisting of a demographic and concussion-history questionnaire, a graded symptom scale, the HIT-6, and the PedMIDAS. Internal consistency (α), test–retest reliability (rs), Bland-Altman analyses, and the Mann-Whitney U test were used to evaluate psychometric properties and age and gender differences.

Main Outcome Measures:

The HIT-6 and PedMIDAS item and total scores.


Test–retest reliability for the HIT-6 total score was rs = .72, and reliability of individual items ranged from rs = .52 to .67. The test–retest reliability for the PedMIDAS total score was rs = .61, and reliability of individual items ranged from rs = .23 to .62. Both scales demonstrated acceptable internal consistency: HIT-6 α = .89−.90 and PedMIDAS α = .71−.75.


The authors found moderate test–retest reliability for the HIT-6 and the PedMIDAS in a healthy adolescent athlete population. Research on the applicability and utility of the HIT-6 and PedMIDAS in concussed adolescents is warranted.

The authors are with the Athletic Training Program, A.T. Still University, Mesa, AZ.