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Papers of the Week

2022 Oct 21

Medicina (Kaunas)



Headache in Post-COVID-19 Patients: Its Characteristics and Relationship with the Quality of Life.


Mutiawati E, Kusuma H I, Fahriani M, Harapan H, Syahrul S, Musadir N
Medicina (Kaunas). 2022 Oct 21; 58(10).
PMID: 36295660.


Little is known on the characteristics of headaches associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Indonesia. The objective of this study was to describe the characteristics of headache in post-COVID-19 patients, and its impact on the patients' quality of life (QoL), as well as to determine the associated determinants of the poor QoL. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. The demographic characteristics, clinical symptoms of COVID-19, characteristics of headache, and the QoL were collected and assessed. Headache was diagnosed and characterized using the International Classification of Headache Disorders, version 3 (ICHD-3). QoL was assessed using a Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) tool. A logistic regression model was used to investigate the associated determinants of poor QoL in post-COVID-19 patients. A total of 215 post-COVID-19 patients were included in the final analysis, and 21.4% (46/215) of them had a poor QoL due to headache following COVID-19. Those who were unemployed and who contracted COVID-19 less than three months prior to the study had higher odds of having poor QoL compared to those who were employed and who contracted COVID-19 more than three months prior to the study. Low QoL was also related to headache that occurred less than one month after recovering from COVID-19 (compared to that which occurred longer than one month after); had a high frequency; had a combination sensation of pulsating, pressing, fiery, and stabbing pain; had a high severity score; and had additional symptoms accompanying the headache. In conclusion, headache related to COVID-19 is associated with low QoL among post-COVID-19 patients. A guideline on prevention measures of headache on COVID-19 patients, therefore, needs to be established to avoid long-term consequences.