Development and Validation of the Migraine Screen Questionnaire (MS-Q)


  • Miguel J.A. Láinez MD, PhD,

  • Manuel Domínguez MD, PhD,

  • Javier Rejas MD, PhD,

  • Gemma Palacios PhD,

  • Encarnación Arriaza MD,

  • Margarida Garcia-Garcia MSc,

  • María Madrigal MD

  • From Hospital Clínico Universitario, Universidad de Valencia, Neurology Department, Valencia, Spain (Dr. Láinez); Hospital Puerta de Hierro, Neurology Department, Madrid, Spain (Dr. Domínguez); Pfizer SA, Health Outcomes Research, Medical Unit, Madrid, Spain (Dr. Rejas); Pfizer SA, CNS Therapeutic Area, Medical Unit, Madrid, Spain (Drs. Palacios and Madrigal); Pfizer SA, Company Medical Service, Madrid, Spain (Dr. Arriaza); Biométrica CRO, Project Management Department, Barcelona, Spain (Ms. Garcia-Garcia).

Address all correspondence to Dr. Miguel J.A. Láinez, Hospital Clínico Universitario, Universidad de Valencia, Neurology Department, Avda. Blasco Ibáñez 17, 46010 Valencia, Spain.


Aim.—To develop and evaluate the clinimetric properties of a new migraine screening questionnaire: the Migraine Screen Questionnaire (MS-Q).

Background.—Migraine is a public health problem requiring screening programs and tools to ensure early detection.

Methods.—A questionnaire was developed based on the criteria of the International Headache Society (IHS) and a review of the literature by a committee of experts. Stage I: The original version of the MS-Q was distributed by mail and completed by Pfizer employees and self-administered to neurological patients; all subjects were afterward evaluated by a neurologist who was blinded to the MS-Q results, to establish an independent IHS diagnosis. Stage II: A final version of the MS-Q was administered to neurological patients to confirm clinimetric properties. Logistic regression and receiver–operator characteristic curve statistical methods were used and the 95% confidence interval, sensitivity, specificity, and positive (PPV) and negative (NPV) predictive values, were estimated.

Results.—Of the 605 subjects recruited, 465 were evaluable (325 in stage I and 140 in stage II). Of the original 15 items, 5 conformed the final version of the MS-Q: frequency and intensity of headache; a duration of between 4 hours and 3 days; nausea; sensitivity to light/noise; and disability. A cutoff point of ≥4 points showed a sensitivity of 0.93 (95% CI = 0.87 to 0.99), specificity of 0.81 (95% CI = 0.72 to 0.91), PPV of 0.83 (95% CI = 0.75 to 0.91), and NPV of 0.92 (95% CI = 0.85 to 0.99). Cronbach's alpha coefficient = 0.82.

Conclusions.—The MS-Q showed adequate validity and reliability, and it could be a good screening tool for application to clinical practice and research.