Minimal important differences in the Migraine-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MSQ) version 2.1


Jason C. Cole PhD, QualityMetric, 640 George Washington Highway, Suite 201, Lincoln, RI 02865-4207, USA. Tel. + 1-310-539-2024, fax + 1-310-539-1983, e-mail


To propose minimal important differences (MID) for the Migraine-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire version 2.1 (MSQ v2.1). To our knowledge (to date), no published MID values exist for the MSQ v2.1 in any population. Analyses were performed on data from two pivotal clinical trials of topiramate for migraine prevention (n = 916), as well as from the QualityMetric National Headache Survey (n = 1016). Analyses included both distribution- and anchor-based MID techniques as well as group- and individual-level MID values. Group-level anchor-based MID values ranged from 3.2 [Role Restrictive domain (RR)] to 7.5 [Emotional Functioning domain (EF)], setting the minimum level of appropriate MID (which can also aid with power analysis). Individual-level distribution-based MID values resulted in highly similar estimates from two large databases: median MID of 8.5 for RR, 9.2 for Role Preventive (RP) and 12.0 for EF. Finally, individual-level anchor-based MID values ranged from 5.0 (RR and RP domains) to 10.6 (EF). For group-level purposes of calculating power for future studies, an MID of 3.2, 4.6 and 7.5 for RR, RP and EF is recommended. For within-group analyses for analysing clinical trial efficacy of each patient's change with responder analyses, 5 points is necessary for RR. For RP and EF, ranges are recommended: 5.0 to 7.9 for RP and 8.0 to 10.6 for EF. These latter two domains tend to have more error in the MID, and thus a sensitivity analysis with both ends of the range should be used to confirm significant differences in responder analyses.