Objective

To assess the impact of parental migraine on adolescents (aged 13-21 years) living within the parental home from the adolescent’s perspective.

Background

Family members are affected by their parent’s migraine. We surveyed adolescents on the social, academic, and emotional effects of their parent’s migraine.

Methods

The Chronic Migraine Epidemiology and Outcomes (CaMEO) study was a longitudinal Web-based study with cross-sectional modules designed to assess migraine symptoms, severity, frequency, and disability; migraine-related consulting practices, healthcare utilization, medication use, comorbid health conditions, and family related burden associated with migraine. The Family Burden Module (adolescent version; FBM-A) from the CaMEO study assessed parents with migraine and adolescent household members (dyads). Adolescents ranged in age from 13-21 years and were living at home with their parent. The initial FBM-A survey included 52 items covering five domains, which was refined and reduced by confirmatory factor analysis to 36 items covering four domains. Depression (9-item Patient Health Questionnaire) and anxiety (7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale) were assessed. Item responses were stratified by parent migraine status (episodic migraine [EM], <15 headache days/month; chronic migraine [CM], ≥15 headache days/month). Frequencies of activities/events missed because of parental headache were categorized as ≥1 time or ≥4 times/previous 30 days.

Results

The sample included 1,411 parent-adolescent dyads (parent with EM, n = 1,243 [88.1%]; parent with CM, n = 168 [11.9%]). Burden due to a parent’s migraine was reported in four domains based on 36 items including: Loss of Parental Support and Reverse Caregiving (5 items); Emotional Experience (13 items); Interference with School (4 items); and Missed Activities and Events (14 items). Across domains, perceived burden was greater for adolescents of parents with CM vs EM. Rates of moderate-to-severe anxiety symptoms were higher among adolescents of parents with CM (6.2 vs 11.3%, P = .01), while moderate-to-severe depression symptom rates were similar (5.5 vs 8.9%, P = .08). More adolescents of CM vs EM parents reported having a headache within the previous 3 months (P < .001).

Conclusions

Parental migraine negatively impacts adolescent children, extending our understanding of the family burden of migraine and emphasizing the potential benefit to children of optimizing migraine care.

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