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  • Original
  • Open Access

The patients’ perceptions of migraine and chronic daily headache: a qualitative study

  • 1,
  • 1, 2,
  • 1Email author,
  • 3 and
  • 1
The Journal of Headache and Pain20056:144

  • Received: 9 March 2004
  • Accepted: 19 October 2004
  • Published:


This study aimed to gain insight into the management of migraine and chronic daily headache (CDH) from the patients’ perspective. This article outlines the patients’ perceptions of migraine and chronic daily headache. Thirteen semi–structured interviews were carried out with patients suffering from IHS migraine. Five patients, due to their headache frequency of more than 15 headache days per month, were classed as CDH patients. The data were transcribed verbatim and analysed in accordance with the grounded theory methodology. The main themes were: headaches, impact and headaches related to health issues. The theme ‘headaches’ was sub-divided into ‘their pain and symptoms’, ‘differentiating between their headaches’ and ‘perceptions of headaches as barriers and facilitators to management’. The patients’ perceptions of migraine and CDH were sometimes conflicting and influenced the patients’ management behaviours. The qualitative methodology may help to inform doctors, other healthcare professionals and headache researchers about the patients’ perspective and possibly develop future headache research, care and education.

Key words

  • Migraine
  • Chronic daily headache
  • Patient
  • Perceptions


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