United States Patients’ Perspective of Living With Migraine: Country-Specific Results From the Global “My Migraine Voice” Survey

Sarah N. Gibbs, Shweta Shah, Chinmay G. Deshpande, Mark E. Bensink, Michael S. Broder, Paula K. Dumas, Dawn C. Buse, Pamela Vo, Todd J. Schwedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Migraine is associated with debilitating symptoms that can affect daily functioning. “My Migraine Voice” was a large, cross-sectional, multi-country online survey aimed at understanding disease burden directly from people with migraine. Objective: This study reports on the social and economic impacts of migraine, specifically the impact on activities of daily living and the costs of migraine, from the point of view of people with migraine in the United States. Methods: The online survey was administered to adults with a self-reported diagnosis of migraine who experienced 4 or more monthly migraine days each month for the previous 3 months. Prespecified screening quotas were used so that 90% of respondents reported current or past use of preventive migraine medication, 80% of whom switched treatment (ie, changed their prescribed preventive medication at least once). The remaining 10% were preventive treatment naïve (ie, never used any prescribed preventive medication). Burden of migraine on activities of daily living and caregivers (eg, functional limitations, fear of next migraine attack, sleep problems) and economic burden (eg, out-of-pocket costs, impact on work productivity using the validated work productivity and activity impairment questionnaire) reported by respondents from the United States are presented. Results are stratified by employment status, migraine frequency (chronic vs episodic migraine), and history of preventive treatment. Results: Thousand hundred and one individuals with migraine from the United States responded to the survey. Respondents reported limitations completing daily activities during all migraine phases, including during the premonitory/aura and postdrome phases. Most (761/1101 (69%)) relied on family, friends, or others for help with daily tasks and reported being helped a median of 9 days (25th percentile 5 days, 75th percentile 15 days) within the last 3 months. Respondents with chronic migraine reported being helped for more days (median 10 days, 25th percentile 5 days, 75th percentile 23 days) in the last 3 months. Almost all (962/1101 (87%)) experienced sleep difficulties and 41% (448/1101) (48% (336/697) of those with 2 or more preventive treatment failures) were very or extremely fearful of a next migraine attack. Median (25th percentile, 75th percentile) monthly out-of-pocket costs of $90.00 ($30.00, $144.00) in doctor’s fees (n = 504), $124.00 ($60.00, $234.00) in health insurance (n = 450), $40.00 ($20.00, $100.00) for prescriptions (n = 630), and $50.00 ($0.00, $100.00) for complementary therapies (n = 255) were reported. Those with 2 or more preventive treatment failures reported higher monthly out-of-pocket doctor fees (median $99.00 ($30.00, $150.00), n = 388). Among employed respondents (n = 661), migraine resulted in 22% absenteeism, 60% presenteeism, 65% work productivity loss, and 64% activity impairment. Conclusions: Migraine impacts individuals’ activities of daily living, work-life, and financial status, especially individuals with high needs, namely those with 4 or more monthly migraine days and prior treatment failures. People with migraine are impaired during all migraine phases, experience fear of their next migraine attack and sleep difficulties, and pay substantial monthly out-of-pocket costs for migraine. Burden is even greater among those who have had 2 or more preventive treatment failures. Impacts of migraine extend beyond probands to caregivers who help people with migraine with daily tasks, employers who are affected by employee absenteeism, presenteeism, and reduced productivity, and society which is burdened by lost and reduced economic productivity and healthcare costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1351-1364
Number of pages14
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • burden
  • costs
  • migraine
  • migraine experience
  • survey
  • work productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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