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Papers of the Week

2022 Jul 21

Neurol Sci

The impact of headache symptoms in a population of Italian university students during the COVID period: an observational study based on 4926 cases.


We conducted an observational study of 4926 university students from all over Italy and different university courses, including health areas. Students were contacted through the most popular social networks and some student's course representatives also acted as intermediaries, from June 1 to August 31, 2021. A questionnaire has been carried out using "Google Forms" and MIDAS. The study confirmed how the headache was widespreaded among the student population and how much it was underestimated (only one-fifth of the interviewees had been to a specialist/headache center). The negative impact of habitual headache on school performance was confirmed by the attendance on courses and the overall study performance. The clinical phenomenon might have been impacted by the pandemic period and its changes in lifestyle, in the study methodology, and due to the stress increase. Finally, the means used in the study were very satisfactory: the use of peers of the interviewees and the social networks, obtaining a broad acceptance of the study and possibly offering a method which is likely to be used in the future. Students presenting habitual headaches must be aware of their condition and the need to search for an appropriate diagnosis and treatment.