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Reduced Impact of Migraine in Everyday Life: An Observational Study in the Dutch Society of Headache Patients


Address all correspondence to Dr. J. Passchier, Department of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Erasmus MC Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


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.