Background: For adults, disability produced by migraines has been assessed with a migraine-specific disability tool-MIDAS. The objective of this study was to develop and validate a similar tool that accurately depicts the disability of headaches in school-age children and adolescents.
Methods: A six-question tool (PedMIDAS) was developed and administered to patients attending a tertiary referral center for pediatric headaches. Internal consistency and test/retest reliability were assessed. Validity was assessed by correlating scores with headache frequency, severity, and duration. Changes in the total score in response to treatment were assessed in a portion of the patients.
Results: The PedMIDAS questionnaire was administered to 441 patients for a total of 724 trials. The mean score at the initial visit was 44.3 +/- 47.9, whereas the overall mean score was 25.1 +/- 36.5. A 2-week test/retest reliability assessment for 56 patients confirmed the stability of the instrument with a Pearson coefficient of 0.80. The correlation of the PedMIDAS score with frequency, severity, and duration had Pearson's coefficient values of 0.58, 0.27, and 0.23. The PedMIDAS score was reduced to 20.0 +/- 32.3 (p < 0.0001) at the first follow-up assessment with subsequent continued reduction.
Conclusions: The PedMIDAS questionnaire provided a developmentally sensitive, reliable, and valid assessment of the disability of childhood and adolescent headaches. This questionnaire provides a tool to assess the impact of migraines in children and to monitor response to treatment. Further research should focus on additional validation of the PedMIDAS using a larger population and sampling from other populations (e.g., primary care and community samples).