Primary Care Access to an Online Decision Support Tool is Associated With Improvements in Some Aspects of Pediatric Migraine Care

Acad Pediatr. 2020 Aug;20(6):840-847. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2019.11.017. Epub 2019 Dec 4.


Objective: To evaluate whether primary care provider (PCP) access to an online decision support tool is associated with a change in evidence-based primary care medical management of pediatric migraine.

Methods: In this prospective observational study, PCPs serving a target community were educated on the availability and use of an online clinical decision support tool that was developed to inform treatment of pediatric migraine. For 9 months before and after implementation of the decision tool, the proportions of children with migraine prescribed evidence-based and contraindicated medications by PCPs in the target region were monitored using electronic medical record query and statistically compared to these same proportions for patients in surrounding (control) regions. Rates of visits to the emergency department for migraine also were tracked pre- and postimplementation as an indirect measure of impact of the decision tool. Provider usage of the decision tool was monitored and summarized using web analytics.

Results: Approximately half (56%) of target region PCPs used the online tool at least once over the project period. Relative to control regions and baseline trends, the proportion of children residing in the target region who were prescribed recommended abortive and preventive medications for treating migraine was statistically significantly higher following implementation of the tool. No significant changes to frequency of emergency care visits for migraine by youth in the target region were observed.

Conclusions: Availability to PCPs of an online decision support tool for pediatric migraine is associated with a modest change in some aspects of evidence-based medical care.

Keywords: decision support tool; headache; migraine; primary care provider.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Inappropriate Prescribing / prevention & control*
  • Internet
  • Magnesium / therapeutic use
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Migraine Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Pediatrics
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Magnesium