Skip to main content

EHMTI-0346. Do nurses improve migraine management in primary care?


There are indications that a primary health care nurse may improve the treatment of migraine patients.


We conducted a non-randomized controlled prospective cohort study in primary care practices. In total 235 patients, diagnosed with migraine with or without aura according to ICHD-2 criteria, between 18 and 65 years of age, were included. Patients with migraine treated only by their general practitioner (control group) were compared to patients managed by a nurse supervised by a general practitioner (intervention group). Primary outcome was the difference in referral rate to a neurologist because of migraine.


In the intervention group, fewer migraine patients were referred to the neurologist (3.5% vs. 29.8% in the control group, p=0.001). The reduction in mean monthly headache days compared to baseline was apparent in the intervention group at 6 months (6.8 vs. 5.3 in the control group, p=0.006) and 9 months (4.7 vs. 2.1 days in the control group, p=0.006). At 9 months there was no significant change in dichotomized HIT score, compared to baseline (p= 0.068). Change in satisfaction of patients with treatment compared to baseline after 9 months did not differ significantly between the control and intervention group (p=0.070).


The care administered by a primary care nurse supervised by a general practitioner resulted in less referrals to the neurologist and more headache-free days per month, but no change in HIT score. There was no difference in change from baseline in satisfaction scores between patients of both groups.

No conflict of interest.

Author information



Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

van den Berg, P., Kollen, B., Veenstra, P. et al. EHMTI-0346. Do nurses improve migraine management in primary care?. J Headache Pain 15, J18 (2014).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI:


  • Intervention Group
  • Primary Care
  • Migraine
  • General Practitioner
  • Primary Health Care