Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

To Screen for Migraines, Try Using Two Brief Surveys

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

To Screen for Migraines, Try Using Two Brief Surveys

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO -- Busy clinicians now have at least two simple, three-question screening tools for migraine headaches.

One screening survey, recently given to 3,014 patients with migraine headaches, had an overall sensitivity of 77% for diagnosing migraine if patients answered, "yes" to the first two questions and, "no" to the third:

1. Do you have recurrent headaches that interfere with work, family, or social function?

2. Do your headaches last at least 4 hours if untreated?

3. Have you had new or different headaches in the past 6 months?

The specialty of the physician asking the questions did not affect the sensitivity of the tool: 74% were primary care physicians, 21% were neurologists, and the specialty was unknown for 5%, Dr. Roger K. Cady reported in a poster presentation at the annual meeting of the American Neurological Association.

Patients were being seen in private practices for migraines as defined by International Headache Society (IHS) criteria in 79% of patients, by clinical impression in 18%, and by the presence of recurring, disabling headaches in 3%. …

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