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Migraine: treatments, comorbidities, and quality of life, in the USA

Authors Malone C, Bhowmick A, Wachholtz A

Received 8 May 2015

Accepted for publication 10 June 2015

Published 12 August 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 537—547


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Kerui Gong

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael Schatman

Christopher D Malone,1 Amrita Bhowmick,2 Amy B Wachholtz,1

1Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, 2Health Union, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Abstract: This study sought to characterize the experience of stress, treatment patterns, and medical and disability profile in the migraineur population to better understand how the experience of migraines impacts the social and psychological functioning of this group. A 30-minute self-report survey was presented via a migraine-specific website with data collection occurring between May 15 and June 15, 2012. Recruitment for the study was done through online advertisements. In total, 2,907 individuals began the survey and 2,735 met the inclusion criteria for the study. The sample was predominantly female (92.8%). Migraine-associated stress was correlated with length of time since first onset of symptoms (P<0.01) and number of symptoms per month (P<0.01). Disorders related to stress, such as depression (P<0.01) and anxiety (P<0.01), were also positively correlated with the measured stress resulting from migraines. Migraine-associated stress must be understood as a multidimensional experience with broader impacts of stress on an individual correlating much more highly with negative mental and physical health profiles. Stress resulting from frequent migraine headaches may contribute to the development of medical and psychological comorbidities and may be a part of a cyclical relationship wherein stress is both a cause and effect of the social and medical impairments brought about by migraine.

Keywords: characteristics, migraine, headache, stress, treatment satisfaction

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