A self-administered screener for migraine in primary care: The ID migraine™ validation study

Richard B. Lipton, D. Dodick, R. Sadovsky, K. Kolodner, J. Endicott, J. Hettiarachchi, W. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

367 Scopus citations


Background: Migraine is a highly prevalent and disabling illness that remains substantially undiagnosed in primary care. Because of the potential value of a screening tool, the current study was designed to establish the validity and reliability of a brief, self-administered migraine screener in patients with headache complaints in the primary care setting. Methods: A total of 563 patients presenting for routine primary care appointments and reporting headaches in the past 3 months completed a self-administered migraine screener. All patients were then referred for an independent diagnostic evaluation by a headache expert, of whom 451 (80%) completed a full evaluation. Migraine diagnosis was assigned based on International Headache Society criteria after completing a semi-structured diagnostic interview. Results: Of nine diagnostic screening questions, a three-item subset of disability, nausea, and sensitivity to light provided optimum performance, with a sensitivity of 0.81 (95% CI, 0.77 to 0.85), a specificity of 0.75 (95% CI, 0.64 to 0.84), and positive predictive value of 0.93 (95% CI, 89.9 to 95.8). Test-retest reliability was good, with a kappa of 0.68 (95% CI, 0.54 to 0.82). The sensitivity and specificity of the three-item migraine screener was similar regardless of sex, age, presence of other comorbid headaches, or previous diagnostic status. Conclusions: The three-item ID Migraine™ migraine screener was found to be a valid and reliable screening instrument for migraine headaches. Its ease of use and operating characteristics suggest that it could significantly improve migraine recognition in primary care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-382
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 12 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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