Italian survey (osservatorio permanente) to recognise and promote migraine suffering patients' well-being



Among primary headaches, migraine affects 12-15% of the adult population in Italy, representing one of the most common medical complaints, and a major cause of both social and familial problems. Furthermore, especially if not properly recognised and treated, it may cause significant economic losses, due to decreased workplace productivity amounting to more than 3 thousand billion euro per year. Despite the high incidence, only a minor percentage of migraine patients consult their own general practitioner (GP) and even less a specialist. These data are surprising considering that around 50% of the attacks are severe and totally disabling, 44% are moderate and only 6% can be defined as mild. This picture is worsened by the fact that about 40% of migraine suffering patients are misdiagnosed. A consequence of under-recognition or misdiagnosis is a delay of proper treatment that could significantly improve disability and patient's quality of life by controlling the attacks' frequency, severity and duration. In this context, the GP plays a  pivotal role being the patient's first consultant and his/her proper diagnosis becomes an important screening of the population, which could eventually be directed to a Headache Centre for further assessments. The GP is the ideal link between the migraineur and the Headache Centre's Specialist for a proper and efficient collaboration focussed on the patient's well-being. With the aim of significantly improving this collaboration, an Italian Survey named "osservatorio Nazionale Permanente" has recently started collecting new and updated information on the disease's epidemiology. Data will be collected by GPs especially trained on migraine through the participation of an "ad hoc" Continual Medical Education (CME) course. This will assure the double objective of improving both the GP's scientific knowledge and the reliability of the collected data. The project is running and preliminary data will be presented.


Autori: F. Frediani, G. Casucci, G. Bussone

Neurol Sci (2004) 25 (Suppl 3):S305-S316