The Chronic Migraineur and Health Services: National Survey Results

Amy Wachholtz, Christopher Malone and Amrita Bhowmick

Chronic migraine is a costly and highly disabling condition that impacts millions of people in the United States. While chronic migraine is hypothesized to result from more infrequent forms of migraine, the precise mechanism by which this develops is still being researched. This study sought to better characterize the treatment patterns, disorder characteristics, and medical and disability profile of the chronic migraine population using the largest dataset of chronic migraineurs ever collected. The survey was started by 8,359 individuals and 4,787 met the inclusion criteria for diagnosed chronic migraine The number of stressful life events participants experienced due to their migraines related to number of therapies tried (p<0.00, eta2 =0.215), depression (p<0.00, eta2 =0.178), number of comorbidities (p<0.00, eta2 =0.172), anxiety (p<0.00, eta2 =0.162), number of physician visits in the past year (p<0.00, eta2 =0.103), and chronic pain levels (p<0.00, eta2 =0.077).. The results of this survey suggest that chronic migraineurs may misattribute aspects of psychiatric or medical comorbidities to their chronic migraines. Further, the sample underutilized mental health services and were unsatisfied with their migraine treatments. Providers to chronic migraineurs should ensure that patients are receiving appropriate mental health care in order to alleviate psychological distress as well as to potentially lessen negative life events previously associated with migraine symptoms.