Despite advances in medication over the last decade, few migraine patients are receiving the correct treatment, resulting in a call from leading neurologists for improved treatments and greater collaboration across the EU.

According to the December Heads Up on Migraine conference of 20 neurologists and GPs representing ten European countries and Canada, migraine patients continue to endure difficulties relating to treatment failure, treatment dissatisfaction, treatment adherence, medication overuse and medication underuse.

The statement follows on from the 2005 Rome Declaration on Migraine, which stated that more patients should receive expert medical treatment and set a goal for the percentage of migraine patients treated by GPs to increase from 30% to 50% within five years.

Experts at the conference concluded that:

  • Multidisciplinary headache care is ideal; however, where funding is not available virtual headache clinics and primary care models including a nurse-led call centre to triage patients effectively can represent useful alternatives.
  • Secondly, healthcare professional education remains a critical priority and training should focus on training professionals not traditionally involved in headache care, such as nurses and pharmacists.
  • Patient education also needs to be more accessible: patients need to clearly understand their condition and the treatments available, and their implications in order to be better engaged in their own management.
  • New approaches to improving communication techniques, such as motivational interviewing will also help physicians manage their patients more effectively.
  • Improving communication between GPs and neurologists as well as between all members of a multidisciplinary team will also serve to improve patient care.