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Research Opportunity: How Does Migraine Affect Your Life?

If you have migraines, you know migraines can touch many areas of your life. Migraine is more than “just a headache” or a pain disorder―migraine can change how your go about your day, how you feel about yourself, and how you interact with important people in your life. A lot of research has been conducted asking people with migraine how their lives have been affected. Questions typically ask about interference with work, household, and social activities. While missing work and other activities is important, that’s only part of the story. A few studies had also investigated the impact of migraine on relationships:

  • In 2003, Lipton and colleagues surveyed 1142 adults about migraine impact
    • 19 percent missed at least 3 days of family and/or social activities during the preceding 3 months
    • 32 percent avoided making plans
    • 63 percent reported a negative impact on relationships with their children
  • In 2004, Dueland and colleagues surveyed 1810 adult female migraineurs in Europe and Israel
    • 62 percent missed time with family or friends because of migraines at least once during the preceding six months
    • 23 percent said migraine stressed relationships with family and friends

Additionally, in our own Migraine in America study 40% of respondents reported that migraines affected their relationships with just over 10% reporting that migraines contributed to divorce or separation.

We decided to find out what’s happening in the migraine community in 2013. In conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh, we’re conducting a survey of adults with migraine to learn how migraine affects important aspects of your life. To better understand a broader impact picture of migraine, we’re relying on you to share your thoughts and experiences with us.
We want to learn more about your migraines. By spending a few minutes on our survey, you will help us learn more information about migraines that can benefit people with migraines and healthcare professionals. This survey is completely anonymous. Your responses cannot be matched to any personal information or identifiers. The survey consists of a maximum of 46 multiple choice questions and should take up to approximately 20 minutes to complete. Thank you for your participation!

Have you participated in other studies here at View results here:

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Marleneemm
    6 years ago

    I’ve had Migraines since age 6.
    as I’ve gotten older they’ve gotten worse~never can really tell
    when I’m going to get one due to the fact that mine are brought
    on by weather changes and not by anything I’ve eaten or drank.
    Can’t really plan things~and always have to have medication
    with me~oe have Excedrine Migraine with me.

  • Dr Marcus author
    6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your experience. These surveys can be important tools to help capture what’s really happening in people’s lives and hopefully uncover important issues we docs often forget to ask about during visits to help educate us about the migraine experience.

  • Dr Marcus author
    7 years ago

    Marlene — I’m glad you’ve found and hope there is useful information for you here on this site. Headaches have trauma can really be a bear, especially if you got migraine beforehand. Usually, these after-trauma headaches get better, but it can take time, like you’re finding out. If there’s a medical school near where you live, you might want to see if they have a comprehensive pain clinic that treats patients with a range of drug and non-drug treatments. Pain doctors often approach headaches a bit differently from internists and neurologists and may have some fresh ideas.

  • marlenerossman
    7 years ago

    How does migraine effect my life? It has destroyed it. I was a happy, healthy middle aged women who had a few mild migraines a month until a car accident. My BMW protected me from injury or so I thought. Shortly after the accident, I began getting lay-down-on- the floor and vomit migraines FIVE days a week.

    After MRIs showed no pathololgy, I have taken 25 different medications, had three Radiofrequency Ablations of the C2,C3 and C4 and visited TWELVE doctors. The only thing that helps somewhat are the abortives–triptans.

    I cannot work, I cannot have sex with my husband and I am in almost constant pain. Neurologists, internists, migraine specialists and many other doctors have evaluated my case and come up with NOTHING. I have already lost two and a half years of my life, and there is no end in sight for remission

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    Hi Marlene,

    My life too changed forever when I fell 16 years ago. I’m divorced after almost 25 years of marriage, on SSDI and in daily pain. Been around the corner on most things except acupuncture and Botox. A bit nervous about Botox due to some autoimmune concerns with MG. I’m not sure what part of the country you are in, but Dr. Marcus did have a great point about seeing if there is a medical school in your area. That is how they found out I have cervical disc issues, almost eight years after my fall. I understand and am here if you want to talk off line

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