ESSEN, Germany, March 8 /CNW/ - Migraine management in Europe is falling short of previous targets according to the December Heads Up on Migraine conference of twenty Neurologists and GPs representing 10 European countries and Canada. Improvements in migraine treatment need to be implemented through closer collaboration between healthcare professionals. Despite advances in medication over the last decade, migraine patients continue to endure difficulties relating to treatment failure, treatment dissatisfaction, treatment adherence, medication overuse and medication underuse.
The Heads Up initiative follows on from the 2005 Rome Declaration on Migraine, chaired by Professor Hans-Christoph Diener, University Hospital Essen, Germany. The publication from the Rome Declaration stated that more patients should receive expert medical treatment and set a goal for the percentage of migraine patients treated by GPs to increase from 30-50% within five years(1).
"We can already conclude that this goal, despite some improvements has not yet been reached," stated Professor Diener. "Therefore I was delighted to Chair the December conference and consult with GPs and neurologists together so that we could focus on achieving rapid improvements in the treatment of patients with migraine across Europe. Our conference reached consensus across five key areas. The conference participants will be taking responsibility for these defined areas in their country."
1. Multidisciplinary headache care is ideal. However, where funding is
not available virtual headache clinics and primary care models
including a nurse-led call centre to triage patients effectively can
represent useful alternatives.
2. Healthcare professional education remains a critical priority: the
multidisciplinary headache team should involve members with a diverse
skill mix who have been appropriately trained. Training professionals
not traditionally involved in headache care, such as nurses and
pharmacists, to become part of the patient management team allows for
more effective use of the specialist physician expertise. Specialist
headache nurses based in primary care practices are also recommended.
3. Patient education needs to be more accessible: patients need to
clearly understand their condition and the treatments available, and
their implications in order to be better engaged in their own
4. Communication physician-to-patient: is particularly important in
migraine management. New approaches to improving communication
techniques, such as motivational interviewing can help physicians
manage their patients more effectively. If the physician successfully
engages with the patient, treatment adherence is more likely to
improve and the patients are more likely to self-manage their
5. Communication physician-to-physician: Improving communication between
GPs and Neurologists and indeed, between all members of a
multidisciplinary team will only serve to improve patient care.
"Having reached a clear consensus from the Heads Up on Migraine conference on our key areas of focus, we are highly motivated to look at particular activities in our relevant countries to make a real and rapid difference to patients' lives. Our intention will be to review and report on our progress over the next 12 months," concluded Professor Diener.
(1) Rome declaration On Migraine - 2005
Heads Up on Migraine was supported by an unrestricted educational grant
from MSD GmbH
Note to editors
Chairman of the Meeting
Professor Hans-Christoph Diener
Chairman & Professor of Neurology
Department of Neurology and Headache Center
University Hospital Essen
University of Duisburg-Essen
Participants at the meeting
Dr S McKenzie Dr L Vieira
Dr J Moller Hansen Dr S Garne
Dr R Elfassi Dr J Ruimy
Dr A Gendolla Dr C Gaul
Dr D Grimaldi Dr F Brighina
Dr JSP van den Berg Dr H Sandelowsky
Dr M Drottning-Ronne Dott. A Sigersvold Rasta
Dr V Baos Dr E Arrieta Anton
Dr W Rudolph
Dr M Fontebasso Dr D Pascoe-Watson
European Headache Alliance (EHA)
Ms Audrey Craven
SOURCE UNIVERSITY DUISBURG-ESSEN
For further information: For further information: +49-201-723-2460, Professor Hans-Christoph Diener