Advocacy in Headache Medicine: Tips at the Bedside, the Institutional Level, and Beyond

Karissa N. Arca, Amaal J. Starling

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: We describe the pervasiveness of headache diseases across the globe and the need for healthcare advocacy, define healthcare advocacy, and identify how providers can incorporate healthcare advocacy into clinical practice and beyond. Recent Findings: Nearly 3 billion people across the globe experience migraine or tension-type headache, yet headache diseases receive a fraction of the funding that is allocated to other diseases. Despite its prevalence, those with headache diseases, especially migraine, experience external and internal stigma. As physicians, our job extends past the direct needs of the patient and must also focus on the systemic problems affecting our patients such as accessibility to healthcare providers and treatment options, as well as addressing stigma. We can empower our patients with education, community, and supportive, non-stigmatizing language used to describe headache diseases. Summary: Headache diseases are prevalent throughout the world and contribute to a substantial amount of disability. Disability is further compounded by stigma. Advocacy starts with empowering patients and peers with knowledge. It extends into the workplace to create accommodations and in the community to raise awareness and lobby for access to specialists, treatment options, and research funding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number52
JournalCurrent neurology and neuroscience reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Advocacy
  • Awareness
  • Headache
  • Migraine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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