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Keywords:

  • migraine;
  • quality of life;
  • coping

Objective.—To explore the percentage of patients who report a reduced impact of migraine on their life, and to which factors this improvement can be attributed.

Methods.—Four hundred forty-eight members of the Dutch Society of Headache Patients answered a set of structured questionnaires, including the Migraine-Specific Quality of Life instrument (MSQOL).

Results.—Of this group, 70% reported a reduced impact of migraine. The most frequently reported reason for this reduction was a change in medication (77%); in particular, change to a triptan. Other favorable factors included a change in life-style (56%): 42% of patients reported more relaxed coping with migraine, a reduction of stress in general (28%) and of stress related to work (24%), and leading a more regular life-style (21%). In addition, social support was frequently mentioned, particularly that offered by the Dutch Society of Headache Patients (58%), family (46%), and their general practitioner (28%). The patients who reported a reduced impact of migraine had less migraine attacks and a higher quality of life than those who did not report such a reduction.

Conclusion.—The results confirm that factors that are proven effective in clinical trials on migraine also have these effects outside a formal experimental environment.