Migraine and chronic daily headache management: a qualitative study of patients' perceptions

Michele Peters, Huda Huijer Abu-Saad, Vasso Vydelingum, Andrew Dowson, Margaret Murphy
Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences 2004, 18 (3): 294-303

AIM: The aim of the study was to gain insight into the patients' perceptions of migraine and chronic daily headache (CDH) management.

METHODS: Thirteen, semi-structured and individual interviews with seven migraine and five CDH patients were carried out and analysed in QSR NUD*IST5, using a grounded theory methodology.

RESULTS: The participants described using five areas of management: 1) health care use; 2) medication use; 3) alternative therapies; 4) social support; and 5) lifestyle and self-help. The participants described their expectations, preferences, worries and (dis)satisfaction in relation to these five areas of management. The participants adapted headache management to suit their needs and preferences, making migraine and CDH management highly individual and giving the headache patient a central role within their own care.

CONCLUSION: Health care is changing towards a greater involvement of the patients in their own care. Therefore, it is important to increase understanding of the patients' perspective of chronic diseases, including migraine and CDH. The results from this study inform health care professionals of the range of their patients' needs and preferences. This knowledge can be used to shape clinical practice, to develop patient education programmes and to further research efforts into issues that are important to the headache patient.


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