The primary headaches in allied health students at the Durban University of Technology (DUT)
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Background: A headache is a common complaint in daily practice and occurs across all ethnicities and both genders. These headaches can cause a decrease in productivity and quality of life. Studies carried out in defined population groups are useful in developing an understanding of the factors that influence headaches, however these are limited. Objective: To determine the prevalence of primary headaches in Allied Health students at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), identify the factors that influence the prevalence of these headaches and to determine the association of these headaches with activities of daily life and productivity. Methods: The study was an epidemiological, cross sectional survey of primary headaches with a study population of ±420. Each willing participant received a Letter of Information outlining the study and a questionnaire for completion. Results: Three hundred and eleven questionnaires were used for statistical analysis. Of these 24.1% (n=75) did not experience headaches and the remaining 75.9% (n=236) were classified as having had either non-primary headache, migraine-type headache (MTH), tension-type headache (TTH) or cluster-type headache (CTH). Headaches were prevalent amongst the student population and several factors were associated with the headaches. CTHs tended to have the most impact on the student as an individual, due to its intensity. MTHs and TTHs tended to have a greater effect on the student population, mainly due to their high incidence.