Objective: To determine whether synchronous video-based telemedicine visits with specialists are feasible and to evaluate clinical effectiveness, patient perceptions, and other benefits of telemedicine visits for follow-up migraine care in a tertiary headache center.
Design: A one-year, randomized clinical trial.
Results: Fifty patients were screened and 45 entered the study (43 women, two men). Out of 96 scheduled visits, 89 were successfully conducted using telemedicine. Eighteen patients (out of 22) in the telemedicine cohort and 12 patients (out of 23) in the in-office cohort completed the study. In this small study, clinical outcomes, namely improvement in MIDAS, number of headache days, and average severity at 12 months for participants in the telemedicine group, were not different from those in the in-office group. Convenience was rated higher and visit times were shorter in the telemedicine group.
Conclusions: In this cohort of patients with severe migraine-related disability, telemedicine was a feasible mode of treatment and an effective alternative to in-office visits for follow-up migraine care. Physician productivity could be higher with telemedicine, and patients may get better access because of its convenience.
Trial registration: This study is listed on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01706003).
Keywords: Migraine; all headache; all health services research; medical care; telemedicine.