Background: Migraine headaches have been shown to have substantial personal and societal implications. Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) assessments of migraineurs have been used to monitor and evaluate patient- and population-based outcomes, and to evaluate effectiveness and responsiveness to treatment. In this paper, we test a new, even shorter generic health survey, the SF-8 Health Survey (SF-8), an alternate form that uses one question to measure each of the eight SF-36 Health Survey (SF-36) domains, in a sub-sample of migraine sufferers.
Methods: Data from 7557 participants surveyed via the Internet and mail were used to document the burden of migraine on HRQOL and to compare the relative burden of migraine with other chronic conditions using the SF-8.
Results: Migraineurs' HRQOL is similar to those with congestive heart failure, hypertension and diabetes, and is better than those with depression. Migraine sufferers experience better physical health and worse mental health (MH) than those with osteoarthritis. Results support prior research indicating that the burden of migraine on functional health and well-being is considerable and comparable to other chronic conditions known to have substantial impact on HRQOL.
Conclusions: The SF-8 may provide a more practical and efficient method to describe the burden of migraine in population studies.