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Survey Shows ?Gap in Doctor Patient Migraine Communications?
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Lainey_WebMD_Staff posted:
A new survey sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline and The National Headache Foundation that was conducted by Harris Interactive was released today.

The survey states: "One reason for this gap may be that migraines are often addressed as part of a larger health discussion instead of as a point of focus.

"This new information may help many migraines suffers and doctors understand why there could be gaps and encourage doctors and patients to communicate in more detail. The survey also indicates that important conversations between doctor and patient may not be "robust"."

After reading the study, what steps can you take to ensure better communication between you and your doctor?
Pain is temporary. It may last a minute or an hour or a day or a year but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.
Lance Armstrong

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NeNe_11 responded:
Hi, Denise chiming in here! One thing I have learned over the years is to keep journals. I have 3 health problems:Migraines, Fibro & Sleep problems, therefore I keep 3 separate journals for each. Just a couple notes on each one, each day. Then I am able to keep track of whats going on with my health so I can better relate that to the doc. I have my migraine notepad where I indicate if I had a headache or migraine that day & what I took to help it & if it helped. Being proactive can help you to communicate more efficiently with you doc, so they can better help you. Thats what you can do on your end, now what the doc can do on his or her end, well maybe Dr. Collins can chime in!
 
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An_205236 responded:
I keep an online journal/record of migraines and triggers. I find that it helps me keep track of how many headaches I've had, and when, so that when I show up in the office I'm ready with a full "report." My neurologist is much happier to hear that I've had x headaches in January, y in February, and z in March than a subjective report that it seems like I'm having a worse time than last quarter. That said, I wish that physicians, on their end, would likewise listen more to the patient's subjective side of the experience.There might have had fewer headaches, but they could have more disabling, less resonsive to treatment, or just different from baseline...any of which merits more consideration than is sometimes shown the "softer" side of the visit.
 
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Lainey_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi Denise and Anon_2712,

We must all think alike! I am working on a weekly discussion to help with keeping a record. I agree the journal is a great idea and this May, I plan to kick that idea up a notch so keep a look out for the Migraine Journal in May!

Lainey
Pain is temporary. It may last a minute or an hour or a day or a year but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. Lance Armstrong
 
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DUKE MEDICINE
Timothy Collins, MD replied to Lainey_WebMD_Staff's response:
Unfortunately this is not new information, at least for those of us that work in headache care. Almost every day I have patients say "my doctor never asked about that"

Communication about the headaches is very important. Other survey's have found that patients are not given a 2nd medication for their headaches, because 1) the doctor didn't ask if it worked or 2) the patient didn't tell the doctor if it worked.

Part of the problem is that many primary care MD's have limited training regarding headaches, and often don't know which questions to ask. Keeping a headache diary is very helpful, because you can tell the doctor exactly how many headaches you had in the last month, how many were severe, and if the medication worked. (and if it didn't, you are set up to ask for another medication).
 
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Lainey_WebMD_Staff replied to Timothy Collins, MD's response:
Thanks so much for sharing your point of view, Dr. Collins! It helps to get a physicians perspective.

Many members may not be aware that some primary care physicians aren't trained in diagnosing migraines and why a headache diary would be invaluable.
Pain is temporary. It may last a minute or an hour or a day or a year but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. Lance Armstrong
 
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NeNe_11 replied to Lainey_WebMD_Staff's response:
Cool! Ill keep an eye out.
 
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Jamison_Verilogue responded:
A little late, but read your post and subsequent replies and couldn't agree more that tracking symptoms between visits is paramount, but feel that is only one part of the equation. Patients must set the agenda during an office visit if they want to be heard, looking at Verilogue's database of patient-PCP and patient-NEURO office visits where migraines/headaches are discussed but not the primary reason for the office visit, PCPs bring up the topic of migraines first in 59% of the interactions, and NEUROs bring up migraines first in 81% of the interactions, so an opportunity for patients to be more proactive if a concern. Patients should set goals for their office visit prior to arrival and share them with the physician at the beginning of the visit. To add on to Anon_2712's reply, if doctors aren't asking/listening, patients should get in the habit of relaying the physical, social, and emotional impact of their migraine symptoms to physicians. I have seen patients successfully engage with physicians on the "softer" elements by writing down their symptoms and the physicial/social/emotional impact prior to the visit and sharing that piece of paper with their physician during the office visit.
 
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Lainey_WebMD_Staff replied to Jamison_Verilogue's response:
Hi Jamison_Verilogue,

Welcome to the community, please feel free to join our discussions anytime.

You bring up some great points for members to consider. Keeping a headache diary is strongly encouraged on this community.

Thanks,

Lainey
Pain is temporary. It may last a minute or an hour or a day or a year but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. Lance Armstrong


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