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The Impact of Migraine on Psychological
Well-Being of Young Women and Their Communication
with Physicians about Migraine
Dueland AN, Leira R, Cabelli ST.
Posted: July 2006  
Curr Med Res Opin 2005;21:1297-1305

Objective:   To describe the impact of migraine on psychological well-being of young women and to evaluate their communication with physicians about migraine.

Research Design and Methods:   This cross-sectional telephone survey was conducted in Israel and eight European countries. Random-digit dialing was used to identify eligible study participants: women 18 to 35 years of age with migraine, who used medication to treat their migraine, and who were employed or full-time students.

Results:   Of 1810 participants, 42% self-reported having a physician diagnosis of migraine. Eight-six percent believed that their life would be better if they did not suffer from migraines; and 58% of participants felt frustrated, 46% felt angry, and 44% felt depressed because of their migraines. Negative feelings related to migraine varied substantially from country to country. For example, feelings of frustration caused by migraine ranged from 32% in Italy to 84% in Finland; feelings of anxiety ranged from 21% in Norway to 57% in Italy; and feelings of confusion ranged from 13% in Greece in 61% in Italy. Overall, 81% of participants had visited a physician in the past year but only 50% of them had discussed their severe headaches or migraines with their physician within the year. While 68% of those who had visited a physician stated that they were comfortable speaking with their physician about migraine, 71% reported being the one who initiated the conversation about severe headaches or migraines. Of all participants, 39% did not feel that their physician understood how much severe headaches or migraines interfered with their life.

Conclusions:   Migraines and severe headaches impose a substantial burden on the psychological well-being of young women with migraine in Europe and Israel.

In general, communication between these women and their physicians about migraine is incomplete.