A new literature review has discussed the impact that migraine and headache disorders can have on personal quality of life. The findings show that headache disorders including migraines can have considerable effects on personal and societal burden, in terms of disability and health-related quality of life (HRQoL).
A search was conducted for papers published between 2010-2012 in which measures of HRQoL and/or disability were used as primary or secondary outcome on adult subjects with primary headache.
In total, 70 records were retrieved, including data on 2,621 patients with chronic daily headache, episodic migraine with or without aura, and/or chronic migraine with or without medication overuse.
The results of the literature review indicated that as well as a reduction in headache frequency, interventions including different pharmacological prophylaxis, surgical approaches, education programmes and osteopathic manipulative treatment also lead to positive impacts on HRQoL and disability, suggesting that the personal (and societal) burden of headache disorders is likely to be reduced when headache patients are given appropriate treatments.
The authors also note that the systematic use of appropriate patient-reported outcome measures, both in clinical practice and in the research field, offer a valid way to assess the global effect of treatments on patient-perceived sense of well-being and response to treatment.
With many chronic health conditions, obtaining a diagnosis and being offered treatment can improve patients perceptions and well-being simply by taking the mystery out of the situation, and letting them know that they are being listened to and understood. It can also provide much-needed support when it comes to explaining their health issues to family, friends and employers.