ESSEN, Germany, March 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.


[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 Møller 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-Rønne Dott. A Sigersvold Rasta Oslo Spain Dr V Baos Dr E Arrieta Antón 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

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