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Scholarly Communication

The design and inception of a pilot study assessing the relationship between migraine and appetite behaviours in a paediatric population

Ray, Stephen (2010) The design and inception of a pilot study assessing the relationship between migraine and appetite behaviours in a paediatric population. Masters thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Background An association between migraine and obesity has been identified. Currently no causality has been identified. Certain appetite behaviours put individuals at increased risk of obesity. Appetite behaviours have not been thoroughly examined in the paediatric migraine population. Work has shown that migraineurs crave carbohydrates around time of attack, that anorexia can exacerbate a migraine and that migraineurs often avoid certain foods that supposedly trigger their migraine. Hitherto no formal study of trait appetite behaviours in migraineurs has been conducted. Theoretically, aberrant appetite behaviours in migraineurs may mediate the onset of obesity. Aims The aims of this study were multiple. Firstly, it was to undertake a formal literature review into the area of the relationship between migraine and obesity. Secondly it was to design a study assessing the relationship between migraine and appetite behaviour. Thirdly it was to examine, within the study, the feasibility and utility of the recruitment process and the psychometric tools respectively. Methods The study was a pilot, cross-sectional questionnaire based study. Migraine patients were recruited from the tertiary paediatric clinics at Alder Hey Children’s Foundation Trust Hospital. Inclusion criteria were a diagnosis of migraine based on clinical criteria by the treating paediatrician; participants were aged between 5 and 16 years, including both sexes; participants were new referrals to Alder Hey neurology department and were migraine medication drug naïve. Exclusion criteria were that children were under 5 years old or over 16 years of age; or had a known presence of secondary cause of migraine-like headache e.g. brain tumour. Specific psychometric tools were utilised as the primary and secondary outcome measures for predicting migraine severity, appetite behaviour, food cravings, food intake and behavioural psychology. All of these psychometric tools were answered at a one off interview with the participants. Results A comprehensive literature search and thorough study design were achieved, with the study gaining ethical and site-specific approval. The limited sample size gained from the early recruitment phase prevents insights into the relationship between migraine and appetite behaviour. A great deal about recruitment utility and suitability of psychometric tools was gleaned from early stages of recruitment. Conclusion Drawing robust conclusions about the relationship between appetite behaviour and migraine from this study is not possible. There are, however, some interesting preliminary results about the study design and tools of the study. Recommendations were designed to improve the study design in response to the qualitative findings, in order that robust quantitative findings can be elucidated when the study is continued to completion.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Migraine; appetite behaviours; eating behaviour; obesity; neuropeptides
Subjects:R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Medicine > School of Reproductive & Developmental Medicine
ID Code:3093
Deposited On:30 Nov 2011 09:16
Last Modified:15 Feb 2012 10:53

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