- Compared with primary headache sufferers who do not use smartphones, smartphone users more commonly take analgesics for acute treatment and obtain less pain relief from them.
Why this matters
- Smartphone use may be a modifiable risk factor in this population.
- Editorial offers skepticism about getting patients to curb cell phone use and calls for research into other solutions.
- Smartphone users and nonusers were similar for:
- Headache duration, type;
- Pain location, severity;
- Monthly frequency, duration of episodes;
- New-onset headache; and
- Worsening over time.
- But smartphone users had:
- Younger age at headache onset (mean, 25.95 vs 30.75 years; P<.001>
- Higher prevalence of aura (17.5% vs 7.7%; P=.003).
- More often took analgesics for acute attack (95.6% vs 80.9%; P<.001>
- Took more pills monthly (8.0 vs 5.0; P<.001>
- Obtained less headache relief (P<.001>
- Took more pills monthly (10.0 vs 5.0; P=.007) and
- Experienced less headache relief (P=.03).
- Indian hospital-based cross-sectional cohort study of patients age ≥14 years with primary headache:
- 206 smartphone users and
- 194 nonusers.
- High use: score ≥1 on 11-point smartphone addiction questionnaire.
- Main outcomes: analgesic use, pain relief.
- Funding: None.
- Causality, generalizability unknown.
- Based on self-report, single time point.
- No specifics on smartphone use patterns.