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Migraine is a chronic and debilitating disease, which can impact individuals by limiting their daily functions as well as their social and leisure activities – this impairment is considered by clinical experts to be an important aspect of the patient’s experience with the disease.1 Since there is no gold standard scale for either measuring the impact of headache, or assessing the efficacy of treatment, in patients with migraine, there is a need for more effective tools to evaluate these outcomes.1,2

One presentation at this year’s Migraine Trust International Symposium (MTIS) reported preliminary data for a quantitative, fast and user-friendly tool called the ‘Headache Gauge (HG)’, which involves a composite score using questions to assess the impact of headache by considering three aspects of headache severity (frequency, duration and functionality).2 The HG was calculated using data from two consecutive consultations in patients (N=100) recruited from a headache clinic. It was found to be easy to apply and appeared to be more sensitive to headache change than the existing accepted impact scores for migraine tested in the study.2 These preliminary results suggest that this tool may have use in real-life clinical monitoring.2

Another study at MTIS described a novel patient-reported outcome (PRO) measure called AIM-D, designed to evaluate the relevant impact of episodic migraine (EM) and chronic migraine (CM) for use in clinical trials of preventive migraine treatment.1 The PRO, which was generated and validated using input from patients and clinicians, was developed as an electronic handheld daily diary and included items that assess, for example, the impact of migraine on usual household chores, errands, leisure activities at home, walking and head movement, using a 6-point rating scale.1 The results suggest that AIM-D could be of use in EM and CM patients in the future.1

The emphasis on patient empowerment is increasing, and patients with migraine are being encouraged to be more informed about their condition.3 One study assessed information from migraine sufferers using a website in Spanish designed for patients and physicians interested in headache.3,4 Between June 2014 and February 2018, nearly 3 million visits to the website were made from across the world and in almost 70% of cases access was via a mobile phone. 3 Over three-quarters of users were women, 62% of users did not know how to anticipate their migraine attacks, and 70% felt dissatisfied with their current treatment.3

In summary, in addition to the new tools being developed to evaluate the impact of migraine and the efficacy of preventive treatment1,2, digital platforms can offer an opportunity to gather insightful information from patients with migraine.3,4 

 

 

References

  1. MTIS2018-005. MTIS 2018. Available at: http://mtis2018.org/media/1123/mtis2018_abstract_book_a4_v2b.pdf

  2. MTIS2018-026. MTIS 2018. Available at: http://mtis2018.org/media/1123/mtis2018_abstract_book_a4_v2b.pdf

  3. MTIS2018-013. MTIS 2018. Available at:  http://mtis2018.org/media/1123/mtis2018_abstract_book_a4_v2b.pdf

  4. MTIS2018-014. MTIS 2018. Available at: http://mtis2018.org/media/1123/mtis2018_abstract_book_a4_v2b.pdf

 

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