A web-based study of 994 men and women with chronic migraine found that the condition significantly impacts family relationships and activities, including cancelled vacation plans and reduced quality time with partners and children. Feelings of guilt, anger and annoyance toward family members due to headache, and avoidance of sexual intimacy due to headache also were reported. Chronic migraine is generally defined as migraine with headaches occurring 15 or more days per month.
The Family Burden of Chronic Migraine to the Migraineur: Results of the CaMEO (Chronic Migraine Epidemiology & Outcomes) Study was reported at the 56th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society. The study's purpose was to measure the perceived nature and extent of chronic migraine-related burden on family relationships and activities. The lead author of the study was Dawn C. Buse, Ph.D., director, Behavioral Medicine, Montefiore Headache Center and associate professor, Clinical Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
"This study highlights the significant impact of chronic migraine, not only on the person with migraine, but on the entire family," said Dr. Buse. "Respondents reported missing both routine and special family events on a regular basis and feeling guilty and sad about how this affected their relationships with their spouses and children."
Almost three quarters of respondents (73%) thought they would be better spouses if they did not have chronic migraine. The majority of respondents (64%) felt guilty about being easily angered or annoyed by their partners due to headache and 67% avoided sexual intimacy with their partners at times due to headache. The majority of respondents (59%) felt they would be better parents if they did not have chronic migraine. 61% of respondents reported that they became easily annoyed with their children due to headache. In addition, 54% of respondents reported that they had reduced participation or enjoyment on a family vacation due to headache in the past year and 20% cancelled or missed a family vacation altogether.
"Clearly, the effects of chronic migraine can be devastating and far reaching. Chronic migraine can be a great burden, not only from the direct effects of the condition on the person with chronic migraine, but also the effects that it has on family members. The effect of chronic migraine on the family is not commonly discussed; however, people who live with chronic migraine may experience substantial emotional distress caused by feeling worried, guilty and sad about how their condition affects the people they love, adding to the total burden," said Dr. Buse.
The CaMEO Study recruited individuals from a web-based panel, using quota sampling to complete a series of web-based surveys for more than one year. The data was used to characterize migraine and chronic migraine. The current analysis reflects data from respondents meeting study criteria for chronic migraine.
The scientific meeting draws about 1,000 headache and migraine researchers and treatment specialists from around the world to hear the latest scientific and clinical information on headache and migraine. This program is four days of teaching and scientific presentations.
This study was funded by Allergan Inc., Irvine, CA.
Some 36 million Americans live with migraine, more than have asthma or diabetes combined. An estimated three to seven million Americans live with chronic migraine, a highly disabling neurological disorder. Migraine can be extremely disabling and costly, accounting for more than $20 billion in direct (e.g. doctor visits, medications) and indirect (e.g. missed work, lost productivity) expenses each year in the United States.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN HEADACHE SOCIETY
The American Headache Society (AHS) is a professional society of health care providers dedicated to the study and treatment of headache and face pain. The Society's objectives are to promote the exchange of information and ideas concerning the causes and treatments of headache and related painful disorders. Educating physicians, health professionals and the public and encouraging scientific research are the primary functions of this organization. AHS activities include an annual scientific meeting, a comprehensive headache symposium, regional symposia for neurologists and family practice physicians, publication of the journal Headache and sponsorship of the AHS Committee for Headache Education (ACHE)
ABOUT THE AMERICAN MIGRAINE FOUNDATION AND THE 36 MILLION MIGRAINE CAMPAIGN
The 36 MILLION MIGRAINE CAMPAIGN, a public awareness initiative of the American Migraine Foundation, is dedicated to increasing our nation's research investment in migraine and raising public visibility for one of the world's most disabling disorders. It is named for the 36 million Americans who have migraine, one of the world's most prevalent and disabling medical disorders. The American Migraine Foundation is a non-profit foundation supported by the American Headache Society and generous donors dedicated to the advancement of migraine research. Its mission is to support innovative research that will lead to improvement in the lives of those who suffer from migraine and other disabling headaches.