Get access

Interictal daily functioning in migraine


JHM Tulen, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Erasmus Medical Center, Dr Molewaterplein 40, 3015 GD Rotterdam, the Netherlands. fax + 31-10-463-3217, e-mail


Migraine induces disability and an impaired quality of life, even between attacks. As most studies are based on subjective reports only, this study was set up to objectively quantify the interictal daily activities and heart rate of migraine patients, in relation to their subjectively reported highest realizable level of activity and of symptoms of mood in their habitual environment. Measurements were obtained during a migraine-free 2-day period of 24 patients (age range: 21–57 years) and 24 controls (age range: 18–59 years). Accelerometry was used to quantify the time spent in different postures and movements. The subjective parameters were documented by daily log. Whereas heart rate was similar for patients and controls, migraineurs were found to be significantly less physically active than controls and reported a significantly lower realizable level of activity. In addition, when active, their body motility was less than that of controls. Migraine patients also showed a higher level of sleepiness and lower level of vigour. These interictal behavioural and subjective phenemona objectively illustrate the individual and societal burden of migraine and its chronic impact on both domains.