What Is the MIDAS Test?

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: October 2020

The MIDAS test stands for the Migraine Disability Assessment. It is a questionnaire your doctor may use to better understand how often and how severe your migraine attacks are. It is designed to estimate how much migraine gets in the way of your daily life.

The MIDAS test asks you to look over the last 3 months and answer questions such as:1

  • How many days you had head pain
  • How many days of work or school have you missed
  • How many days you been less productive than normal
  • Whether you have missed housework, shopping, or helping family members
  • How many social activities you missed
  • How severe was the head pain

Your doctor will add up the number of days to get an idea of how migraine attacks are impacting your life. The more number of days and the more pain you feel, the more severe your migraines. You may also be asked to rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst.

After you begin treatment, your doctor may ask you to take the MIDAS test again. This will help the doctor understand if your treatments are working and if your quality of life is better.

You can also take the MIDAS test at home and use the results to talk with your doctor. See an example of the MIDAS questionnaire here.

Other migraine tests

The MIDAS questionnaire is only 1 of several tests your doctor may use to diagnose you with migraine. Other tests include:2

  • Migraine Assessment of Current Therapy (Migraine‐ACT)
  • Headache Impact Test (HIT-6™)
  • Migraine-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MSQ)
  • Patient Perception of Migraine Questionnaire

Each of these tests measures quality of life and how well treatment is working in slightly different ways.

The importance of a migraine diary

Since the MIDAS questionnaire asks you to recall details from the last 3 months, a migraine diary makes it easier to remember the details of your migraine attacks. A migraine journal lists details on each and every migraine attack. It may take some time to build, but it will help you find patterns between your attacks.

A migraine journal should include details about every migraine attack, such as:

  • What you were doing before the migraine started
  • How long the migraine lasted
  • A list of all of your symptoms
  • How severe each migraine symptom was

Once you understand which lifestyle habits, foods, and drinks trigger migraine for you, you can make changes to prevent attacks.

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