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Screening Tool Designed to Help Diagnose Chronic Migraine

Researchers have developed a new screening tool to help identify chronic migraine in individuals experiencing frequent headaches.

Over a 3-year period, Dawn Buse, PhD, and colleagues developed a 12-item questionnaire that both patients and physicians can use to improve diagnosis and treatment of chronic migraine, which is underdiagnosed and undertreated.  It includes questions regarding symptoms, headache frequency, disability, and medication usage.

“It may be helpful for people living with chronic migraine who don’t realize there’s a term for what they’re living with,” Medscape quoted Dr. Buse as saying in her presentation at the PainWeek conference in September (login required).  “It might help connect them with specialist health care professionals who can treat them well, and it may help connect them with the right treatment.”

Dr. Buse, the director of Behavioral Medicine at the Montefiore Headache Center in Bronx, New York, indicated she and her colleagues hope to soon have the tool available for use and the manuscript ready for publication. Additionally, she noted that quality medical care will remain important and that health care professionals must continue to conduct a careful history and physical exam with their headache patients.

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