Race, Trust Affect Level of Migraine Treatment

Dec 01, 2006

Undertreatment of migraine, while not limited to any particular racial or ethnic group, may be especially pervasive among black persons, according to researchers from Saint Louis University.

Undertreatment of migraine, while not limited to any particular racial or ethnic group, may be especially pervasive among black persons, according to researchers from Saint Louis University.

Robert A. Nicholson, PhD, and colleagues in the Department of Family Medicine surveyed 313 adults with headache who were recruited from primary care waiting rooms but were not necessarily seeing the physician for headache treatment.More than one third of the study participants experienced migraine and reported moderate to severe headache-related disability. Fewer than 15% reported having a migraine-specific medication prescribed for them; however, white patients were more than twice as likely as black patients to have received a prescription.

Black patients were also less likely than white patients to have seen a physician for migraine treatment, and reported significantly lower levels of trust in the medical community and of patient-physician communication. Those with lower levels of trust and communication were less likely to have seen a physician for migraine symptoms or to have received medication to treat those symptoms.

The citation for this study is: Nicholson RA, Rooney M, Vo K, et al. Migraine care among different ethnicities: do disparities exist? Headache. 2006;46:754-765.
-Jordana Bieze Foster

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