Headache Impact Test-6 (HIT-6) scores for migraine patients: Their relation to disability as measured from a headache diary

J Clin Neurol. 2008 Dec;4(4):158-63. doi: 10.3988/jcn.2008.4.4.158. Epub 2008 Dec 31.


Background and purpose: Complete information on migraine-related disabilities facilitate the making of appropriate treatment decisions. Although the accessibility and ease of use of the Headache Impact Test-6 (HIT-6) make it a very promising instrument, there are few data available for comparing HIT-6 scores with the actual amount of disability.

Methods: To determine whether the disability measured using the HIT-6 questionnaire realistically reflects the amount of disability as extracted from a headache diary, which would help when deciding a management plan, 130 patients with migraine without aura were instructed to complete a headache diary on the days on which headache occurred. Each diary booklet also contained questions on the resulting disability, and comprised five items originating from the Migraine Disability Assessment Scale. After submitting their diaries, the participants completed the HIT-6 for the same time period.

Results: Disability as recorded in diaries was present for a mean of 2.7 days per month, and its duration differed significantly with HIT-6 score: 0.9, 2.6, and 4.6 days per month for little-to-no impact, moderate impact, and severe impact, respectively. The summed disability score from diaries was also related to the HIT-6 score. Headache frequency was the only headache characteristic that contributed significantly to the HIT-6 score.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the HIT-6 could be useful for assessing headache-related disability in migraine patients, especially given that the questionnaire is both simple and ease of use.

Keywords: Headache Impact Test-6; Migraine Disability Assessment Scale; diary; disability; migraine.