Rethinking headache as a global public health case model for reaching the SDG 3 HEALTH by 2030
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets out, through 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a path for the prosperity of people and the planet. SDG 3 in particular aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages and includes several targets to enhance health. This review presents a "headache-tailored" perspective on how to achieve SDG 3 by focusing on six specific actions: targeting chronic headaches; reducing the overuse of acute pain-relieving medications; promoting the education of healthcare professionals; granting access to medication in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC); implementing training and educational opportunities for healthcare professionals in low and middle income countries; building a global alliance against headache disorders. Addressing the burden of headache disorders directly impacts on populations' health, as well as on the possibility to improve the productivity of people aged below 50, women in particular. Our analysis pointed out several elements, and included: moving forward from frequency-based parameters to define headache severity; recognizing and managing comorbid diseases and risk factors; implementing a disease management multi-modal management model that incorporates pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments; early recognizing and managing the overuse of acute pain-relieving medications; promoting undergraduate, postgraduate, and continuing medical education of healthcare professionals with specific training on headache; and promoting a culture that favors the recognition of headaches as diseases with a neurobiological basis, where this is not yet recognized. Making headache care more sustainable is an achievable objective, which will require multi-stakeholder collaborations across all sectors of society, both health-related and not health-related. Robust investments will be needed; however, considering the high prevalence of headache disorders and the associated disability, these investments will surely improve multiple health outcomes and lift development and well-being globally.
Episodic Migraine and Psychiatric Comorbidity: A Narrative Review of the Literature
PURPOSE OF REVIEW/OBJECTIVE:We evaluate the evolving evidence of psychiatric comorbidities associated with episodic migraine. Utilizing recent research publications, we aim to assess traditional treatment option considerations and discuss recent and evolving non-pharmacologic treatment progress for episodic migraine and related psychiatric conditions. RECENT FINDINGS/RESULTS:Recent findings indicate that episodic migraine is strongly linked to comorbid depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and sleep disorders. Not only do patients with episodic migraine have higher rates of psychiatric comorbidity, but a higher number of headache days reported is also strongly linked to an increased risk of developing a psychiatric disorder, indicating there may be a link between frequency and psychiatric comorbidity and that patients with high-frequency episodic migraine should be assessed for psychiatric comorbidity. Few migraine preventive medications have examined the effect of the medication on both migraine and psychiatric comorbidity though we discuss what has been reported in the literature. Non-pharmacologic-based treatments including behavioral therapies and mind-body interventions previously developed for psychiatric conditions, e.g., mindfulness-based CBT (MBCT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) therapy, have promising results for patients diagnosed with episodic migraine and may therefore be useful in treating migraine and comorbid psychiatric conditions. Psychiatric comorbidity may affect the efficacy of the treatment of episodic migraine. Thus, we must assess for psychiatric comorbidities to inform better treatment plans for patients. Providing patients with episodic migraine with alternate modalities of treatment may help to improve patient-centered care and increase patients' sense of self-efficacy.
A Comparison of Patients' and Neurologists' Assessments of their Teleneurology Encounter: A Cross-Sectional Analysis
Neurologists' Evaluations of Experience and Effectiveness of Teleneurology Encounters
Episodic Migraine and Psychiatric Comorbidity: A Narrative Review of the Literature
Purpose of Review: We evaluate the evolving evidence of psychiatric comorbidities associated with episodic migraine. Utilizing recent research publications, we aim to assess traditional treatment option considerations and discuss recent and evolving non-pharmacologic treatment progress for episodic migraine and related psychiatric conditions. Recent Findings: Recent findings indicate that episodic migraine is strongly linked to comorbid depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and sleep disorders. Not only do patients with episodic migraine have higher rates of psychiatric comorbidity, but a higher number of headache days reported is also strongly linked to an increased risk of developing a psychiatric disorder, indicating there may be a link between frequency and psychiatric comorbidity and that patients with high-frequency episodic migraine should be assessed for psychiatric comorbidity. Few migraine preventive medications have examined the effect of the medication on both migraine and psychiatric comorbidity though we discuss what has been reported in the literature. Non-pharmacologic-based treatments including behavioral therapies and mind"“body interventions previously developed for psychiatric conditions, e.g., mindfulness-based CBT (MBCT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) therapy, have promising results for patients diagnosed with episodic migraine and may therefore be useful in treating migraine and comorbid psychiatric conditions. Summary: Psychiatric comorbidity may affect the efficacy of the treatment of episodic migraine. Thus, we must assess for psychiatric comorbidities to inform better treatment plans for patients. Providing patients with episodic migraine with alternate modalities of treatment may help to improve patient-centered care and increase patients"™ sense of self-efficacy.
Headache clinicians' perspectives on the remote monitoring of patients' electronic diary data: A qualitative study
OBJECTIVE:We assessed headache clinicians' viewpoints on potential remote access to patients' digital headache diary data and the practicalities of data utilization. BACKGROUND:With the ubiquitous nature of electronic medical records and the existence of remote monitoring (RM) for many medical conditions, there is now the potential for remote symptom monitoring for patients with headache disorders. While patients are asked to utilize headache diaries, clinicians may or may not have access to the data before patient visits, and their perspectives regarding this emerging technology are currently unknown. METHODS:After recruiting participants from the National Institutes of Health Pain Consortium Network, the American Headache Society Special Interest Section listservs, and Twitter and Facebook social media platforms, we conducted 20 semi-structured qualitative interviews of headache providers across the United States from various types of institutions and asked them their perspectives on remote access to patient headache diary data. We transcribed the interviews, which were then coded by two independent coders. Themes and sub-themes were developed using inductive content analysis. RESULTS:All clinicians felt the RM data needed to be integrated into the electronic medical record. Six themes emerged from the interviews: (i) Clinician perspectives on how RM could be beneficial but at other times could create obstacles/challenges, (ii) operationally, data integration could benefit headache care, (iii) there should be initial logistical considerations for bringing RM into clinical care, (iv) education may need to be provided to both patients and clinicians, (v) there are likely research benefits associated with RM, and (vi) additional suggestions for considering potential integration of RM into practice. CONCLUSIONS:While headache clinicians had mixed opinions on the benefits/challenges that RM presents to patient care, patient satisfaction, and visit time, new ideas emerged that may help advance the field.
Educational initiatives in headache medicine: A 20-year scoping review
BACKGROUND:Headache disorders are among the most common and disabling medical conditions worldwide, have a great societal impact and are a common reason to seek medical care. Headache disorders are often misdiagnosed and undertreated, and the number of headache fellowship-trained physicians cannot meet patient demand. Educational initiatives for non-headache-specialist clinicians may be an avenue to increase clinician competency and patient access to appropriate management. OBJECTIVE:To undertake a scoping review of the educational initiatives in headache medicine for medical students, trainees, general practitioners/primary care physicians, and neurologists. METHODS:Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines for scoping reviews, an author (M.D.), with the help of a medical librarian, conducted a search of the Embase, Ovid Medline, and PsychInfo databases for articles related to medical educational initiatives on headache medicine in medical students, residents, and physicians over the last 20 years. RESULTS:A total of 17 articles met the inclusion criteria for this scoping review. Six articles were identified for medical students, seven for general practitioners/primary care physicians, one for emergency medicine residents, two for neurology residents, and one for neurologists. Certain educational initiatives were headache-focused while others had headaches as one of the educational topics. Educational content was delivered and assessed via diverse and innovative means, such as flipped classroom, simulation, theatrical performance, repeated quizzing and study, and a formalized headache elective. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Education initiatives in headache medicine are important to improve competency and patient access to appropriate management of various headache disorders. Future research should focus on using innovative and evidence-based methods of content delivery, knowledge, and procedural assessment, and evaluating changes in practice behaviors.
Assessment of Smartphone Apps for Common Neurologic Conditions (Headache, Insomnia, and Pain): Cross-sectional Study
BACKGROUND:There are thousands of apps for individuals struggling with headache, insomnia, and pain, but it is difficult to establish which of these apps are best suited for patients' specific needs. If clinicians were to have access to a platform that would allow them to make an informed decision on the efficacy and feasibility of smartphone apps for patient care, they would feel confident in prescribing specific apps. OBJECTIVE:We sought to evaluate the quality of apps for some of the top common, disabling neurologic conditions (headache, insomnia, and pain) based on principles derived from the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) app evaluation model. METHODS:We used the Mobile Health Index and Navigation database and expanded upon the database's current supported conditions by adding 177 new app entries. Each app was rated for consistency with the APA's app evaluation model, which includes 105 objective questions based on the following 5 major classes of consideration: (1) accessibility, (2) privacy and security, (3) clinical foundation, (4) engagement style, and (5) interoperability. These characteristics were evaluated to gain a broader understanding of the significant features of each app category in comparison against a control group. RESULTS:Approximately 90% (187/201) of all apps evaluated were free to download, but only 50% (63/201) of headache- and pain-related apps were truly free. Most (87/106, 81%) sleep apps were not truly free to use. The apps had similar limitations with limited privacy, accessibility, and crisis management resources. For example, only 17% (35/201) of the apps were available in Spanish. The apps offered mostly self-help tools with little tailoring; symptom tracking was the most common feature in headache- (32/48, 67%) and pain-related apps (21/47, 45%), whereas mindfulness was the most common feature in sleep-related apps (73/106, 69%). CONCLUSIONS:Although there are many apps for headache, pain, and insomnia, all 3 types of apps have room for improvement around accessibility and privacy. Pain and headache apps share many common features, whereas insomnia apps offer mostly mindfulness-based resources. Given the many available apps to pick from, clinicians and patients should seek apps that offer the highest-quality features, such as complete privacy, remedial features, and the ability to download the app at no cost. These results suggest that there are many opportunities for the improvement of apps centered on headache, insomnia, and pain.
Understanding How to Strengthen the Neurology Pipeline With Insight From Undergraduate Neuroscience Students
Despite increased neuroscience interest at the undergraduate level, a significant shortage of neurologists in the United States (US) exists. To better understand how to generate more interest in neurology specifically at the undergraduate level, we conducted an anonymous cross-sectional online survey of 1085 undergraduates either in neuroscience courses or majoring/minoring in neuroscience from across the US to better understand their clinical neurology experiences and perspectives. The survey quantitatively and qualitatively assessed students' clinical neurology exposure inside and outside of the classroom, research experiences and career goals. Students were from a broad spectrum of undergraduate institutions (public research university (40.8%), liberal arts College (29.7%) and private research university (29.0%). Most students (89.9%) were looking to pursue graduate studies; 56.9% reported wanting to be a physician and 17.8% expressed interest in obtaining an MD/PhD. Importantly, students reported first exposure to neuroscience at age 16 but felt that they could be exposed to neuroscience as early as 13. Half (50.5%) decided to major in neuroscience before college and a quarter (25.6%) decided to major in their first year of college. Despite high interest in clinical neurology exposure, less than one-third of students had spoken with or shadowed a neurologist, and only 13.6% had interacted with clinical neurology populations. Only 20.8% of students felt volunteer and internship opportunities were sufficiently available. Qualitative results include student perspectives from those who did and did not work with a neurologist, describing how they were or were not able to obtain such opportunities. We discuss translating the survey findings into actionable results with opportunities to target the undergraduate neuroscience interest to improve the neurology pipeline. We describe existing programs that could be integrated into everyday neurology practices and new approaches to learning and training to help leverage the significant undergraduate neuroscience interest. We also raise questions for further research, including exploring (1) how students learn of neurologic conditions/expand their knowledge about additional neurologic conditions, (2) whether qualitative investigation of the experiences of neuroscience undergraduates at specific institutions might provide additional insight, and (3) systems to maintain interest in neuroscience/neurology as students enter medical school.
The role of urgent care centers in headache management: a quality improvement project
BACKGROUND:Patients with headache often seek urgent medical care to treat pain and associated symptoms that do not respond to therapeutic options at home. Urgent Cares (UCs) may be suitable for the evaluation and treatment of such patients but there is little data on how headache is evaluated in UC settings and what types of treatments are available. We conducted a study to evaluate the types of care available for patients with headache presenting to UCs. DESIGN/METHODS:Cross-Sectional. METHODS:Headache specialists across the United States contacted UCs to collect data on a questionnaire. Questions asked about UC staffing (e.g. number and backgrounds of staff, hours of operation), average length of UC visits for headache, treatments and tests available for patients presenting with headache, and disposition including to the ED. RESULTS:Data from 10 UC programs comprised of 61 individual UC sites revealed: The vast majority (8/10; 80%) had diagnostic testing onsite for headache evaluation. A small majority (6/10; 60%) had the American Headache Society recommended intravenous medications for acute migraine available. Half (5/10) had a headache protocol in place. The majority (6/10; 60%) had no follow up policy after UC discharge. CONCLUSIONS:UCs have the potential to provide expedited care for patients presenting for evaluation and treatment of headache. However, considerable variability exists amongst UCs in their abilities to manage headaches. This study reveals many opportunities for future research including the development of protocols and professional partnerships to help guide the evaluation, triage, and treatment of patients with headache in UC settings.