Migraine prevention: what patients want from medication and their physicians (a headache specialty clinic perspective)

Headache. 2006 May;46(5):750-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2006.00429.x.


Objective: To document the results of a migraine patients survey, from a headache specialty clinic, in which patients were asked to rank, in order of importance, certain characteristics of migraine preventive treatment.

Methods: A 10-question survey was completed by 150 patients (114 females and 36 males) with a history of migraine who presented to the Michigan Head Pain & Neurological Institute. The patients were asked to rank, in order of importance, characteristics of migraine preventive treatment. Each characteristic was rated individually on a 1 to 10 scale (1 being of little importance and 10 being extremely important). The mean rating of each characteristic was then calculated and the results analyzed.

Results/discussion: From this migraine preventive treatment survey, the most important thing to migraineurs, from a headache specialty clinic population, is that the prescribing physician involves them in the decision making of choosing a preventive agent. The physician taking time to explain the possible medication side effects is the second most highly ranked characteristic. Migraine preventives with published efficacy in the medical literature are also deemed very important. Migraineurs do not mind using more than 1 preventive agent at one time if greater efficacy can be achieved. Agents that may affect weight and/or cause sedation may be important factors as to why patients (especially females) may not want to take a preventive medication. Natural therapies and once-daily dosing are ranked lower overall but still are important characteristics of preventive treatment. Some gender differences are noted in the ranking of migraine preventive characteristics.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Migraine Disorders / epidemiology
  • Migraine Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Distribution