Open Access

The broad treatment expectations of migraine patients

The Journal of Headache and Pain20067:322

Received: 28 May 2006

Accepted: 18 July 2006

Published: 10 December 2006


The objective was to define the overall treatment expectations of migraineurs. Many studies have defined the expectations of patients regarding their acute migraine treatment but little information is available regarding overall expectations. During routine first visits to the author’s headache clinic patients were asked about their expectations of treatment as well as demographics and headache characteristics. Demographics were recorded and expectations were compared between different forms of migraine and between females and males. One thousand seven hundreds and fifty patients were diagnosed with ICHD-II 1.1, 1.2, 1.5.1 and 1.6, 1207 with migraine and 543 with probable migraine. A percentage of 27.8 expected a cure from their treatment, 79.7% to be symptomfree, 95.2% a reduction in frequency of headaches, 95.6% a reduction in severity of headaches and 95.5% an improved quality of life. Males had greater expectations for reduction in severity of migraines than females. Patients with migraine were more likely to expect a cure and a reduction in headache severity than patients with probable migraine. Patients with aura with every headache were more likely to expect reduced frequency of headache than patients with no aura. Some patients did expect a cure for their headaches and knowing patients’ expectations may facilitate headache management and education, and achieve more realistic outcomes.

Key words

Expectations Anticipation Migraine Headache Patient