Medical College of Wisconsin
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Migraine disability, healthcare utilization, and expenditures following treatment in a tertiary headache center. Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent) 2013 Oct;26(4):363-7 PMID: 24082410 PMCID: PMC3777091

Pubmed ID



Headache is among the most common disabling pain complaints. While many patients are managed in primary care or referral neurology practices, some patients have refractive situations that necessitate referral to a tertiary headache center. Increasing frequency of headache is strongly associated with increasing disability and workplace absenteeism as well as increased healthcare utilization. Previous studies have demonstrated that headache care in a dedicated tertiary center is associated with a decrease in headache frequency and improvement in other characteristics that persist over extended periods of time. Previous studies have not examined the impact of this treatment on subsequent healthcare utilization and associated expenditures. In this study we examined the changes in healthcare utilization and expenditures as well as the impact on disability and workplace productivity with treatment in a tertiary headache care center that used initial treatment settings of inpatient and outpatient care and considered the difference between those with episodic migraine and those with chronic migraine and its complications. Tertiary care was found to produce positive reductions in disability, healthcare utilization, and expenditures. These results suggest that earlier tertiary-level intervention may avoid the complications of migraine that occur in some patients and the increasing costs and utilization of care associated with higher disability.

Author List

Freitag FG, Lyss H, Nissan GR


Frederick G. Freitag DO Associate Professor in the Neurology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

jenkins-FCD Prod-299 9ef562391eceb2b8f95265c767fbba1ce5a52fd6