2018 Physical activity, quality of life and headache impact in people with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension
Amanda Denton¹, Dr Hilary Gunn², Dr Krystal Kirkby³
¹Research Representative IIH UK
²Associate Professor of Physiotherapy, University of Plymouth
³Lecturer in Public Health, Derby University
Physical activity has been shown to be reduced and also to have a positive relationship with quality of life in people with headache conditions such as migraine. This has not been explored in people with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH). This online survey aimed to determine physical activity levels in pwIIH and to explore the relationship between physical activity and quality of life in pwIIH.
An online survey to members of IIH UK. The primary measures were physical activity (Physical Activity Scale for Individuals with Physical Disability PASIPD) and quality of life (SF-36) with secondary outcome measure of headache impact (HIT-6), BMI (Body mass index) and age.
164 people with a diagnosis of IIH took part in the survey. The participants were predominantly female (n=159). The majority of participants reported the presence of papilloedema (yes 97, No 57, unsure 16).
Analysis of the individual measures showed that:
PwIIH have levels of low levels of physical activity and undertake little exercise.
Quality of Life is significantly lower in pwIIH when compared to normative population data.
Physical activity is related to quality of life (PCS (Physical Component Score and Mental Component Score) in pwIIH. Physical activity is not related to age, current or diagnosis BMI or HIT 6 score in pwIIH.
The results suggest that improving physical activity in pwIIH could positively impact on quality of life. Ways to increase physical activity such as exercise should be explored in pwIIH.
Strengths and Limitations of this study
- This is the first study to quantify physical activity levels in pwIIH. PwIIH show levels of engagement with leisure time physical activity.
- This is the first study to show a relationship between physical activity and quality of life in pwIIH. Further this study showed that physical activity was not related to age, current or diagnosis BMI or Headache impact in pwIIH.
This study relied on self-report measures such as the presence of papilloedema and current or diagnosis BMI. A face to face measurement of these would be more robust.