Experts Call for European-Wide 'Heads Up' on Migraine

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
        management.
    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
        condition.
    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.

    
    Reference:

    (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
    Hufelandstr. 55
    45147 Essen
    Germany

    Participants at the meeting

    Canada
    Dr S McKenzie        Dr L Vieira
    Ontario              Quebec

    Denmark
    Dr J Moller Hansen   Dr S Garne
    Glostrup             Birkerod

    France
    Dr R Elfassi         Dr J Ruimy
    Paris                Paris

    Germany
    Dr A Gendolla        Dr C Gaul
    Essen                Essen

    Italy
    Dr D Grimaldi        Dr F Brighina
    Bologna              Palermo

    The Netherlands
    Dr JSP van den Berg  Dr H Sandelowsky
    Zwolle               Eemnes

    Norway
    Dr M Drottning-Ronne Dott. A Sigersvold Rasta
    Oslo

    Spain
    Dr V Baos            Dr E Arrieta Anton
    Madrid               Segovia

    Switzerland
    Dr W Rudolph
    Kirchberg

    UK
    Dr M Fontebasso      Dr D Pascoe-Watson
    York                 Cheltenham

    European Headache Alliance (EHA)
    Ms Audrey Craven
    Dublin
    

SOURCE UNIVERSITY DUISBURG-ESSEN

For further information: For further information: +49-201-723-2460, Professor Hans-Christoph Diener

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