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HIT-6 for headache

Timothy C. Hain, MD Page last modified: October 23, 2016 button Return to testing index

Overview of the HIT-6 test.

The HIT-6 is a 6 item screening instrument to quantify headache. A link to a PDF of the HIT6 is here. This questionnaire is fast -- there are 6 questions, with a maximum # of points of 6*13 (78). Scores above 50 are "high".

The HIT-6 is used for all kinds of headaches, not just migraine. It does not differentiate among different kinds of headaches -- it measures impact of a headache. In other words, the HIT will not tell you whether your headache is from a brain tumor or a migraine, but it could tell you whether your headache is significant (i.e. high score), or changing (i.e. difference in scores over time). It has been translated successfully into many languages (Martin et al, 2004; Gandek et al, 2003).

The HIT-6 is fast enough that it can be used to decide if a treatment is working -- According to Castient et al (2012), Improvement can be concluded if the HIT score in tension headache decreases at least 8 points. It seems likely that other headaches react similarly.

As of 2016, there were many references suggesting validity of this measure:

Yang et al (2011) reported that in a total of 2,049 survey participants, participants were identified as 6.4% CM (Chronic migraine); 42.1% EM (Episodic migraine);and 51.5% non-migraine, with respective mean HIT-6 scores: 62.5 +/- 7.8; 60.2 +/- 6.8; and 49.1 +/- 8.7.

Rendas-Baum et al (2014) found it valid in chronic migraine.

General References:

Copyright October 23, 2016 , Timothy C. Hain, M.D. All rights reserved. Last saved on October 23, 2016