Disease management of migraine and the importance of stratified care

Richard B. Lipton, Marcelo E. Bigal, Wsalter F. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Migraine is a common neurological disorder that remains under-recognized, under-diagnosed and under-treated. The disorder imposes a large burden on individuals and the wider community in terms of migraine-related disability and high healthcare and societal costs. Moreover, there is a discrepancy between the availability of effective pharmacologic intervention and the level of treatment that patients with migraine actually receive. A disease management program can benefit individuals with migraine and society in general, by delivering improved care within a cost-effective framework. Disease management programs aim to reduce the burden of illness by identifying key factors that influence disease outcome. Herein, we consider a clinic-based migraine disease management program. Currently, step care remains the most common approach to migraine management. However, this approach frequently delays effective therapy and leads to patient dissatisfaction and lapse from medical care. Stratified care is an alternative approach to migraine management and tailors the choice of therapy to the individual treatment needs of patients. The Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) Questionnaire offers a simple and reliable measure of migraine-related disability. It assesses the overall impact of disease and reflects illness severity and thereby helps guide the physician to the appropriate treatment. Implementation of stratified care, based on illness severity assessed by a disability measure, increases the likelihood that patients with migraine will receive the appropriate treatment plan from the initial consultation. In a randomized trial, step-care and stratified-care approaches were compared using aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) plus metoclopramide or zolmitriptan 2.5mg oral tablet for the treatment of migraine attacks. The study demonstrated that stratified care produced significantly better clinical outcomes and improved the cost effectiveness of healthcare delivery for migraine compared with step care strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-388
Number of pages10
JournalDisease Management and Health Outcomes
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Policy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Disease management of migraine and the importance of stratified care'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this