Study Suggests Healthcare Students May Be Uninformed About Migraine Treatments

October 26, 2019

A new study says most healthcare students are uninformed about migraine treatments and may not be prepared to advise patients.

The majority of healthcare students are uninformed about migraine treatments and may not be prepared to advise patients, according to a recent study.

The researchers aimed to assess healthcare students’ awareness of novel migraine treatments in order to improve educational tools. A survey was conducted in 3 local institutions which evaluated students’ awareness of migraine treatments across four categories: triptans, calcitonin gene-related peptide antibodies, Botox and neuro-stimulation devices.

“Migraine is a common neurological condition with an average prevalence of 11.7% and annual economical burden of $78 billion,” noted the authors. “A myriad of new treatments has become available recently.”

During the evaluation, the researchers defined competency in each area as mastery of 75% of the information and proficiency as being competent in 3 of the 4 areas.

Of the 63 study participants, 11.1% reported suffering from migraines. Furthermore, while 57% perceived themselves to be at least moderately proficient in this area, only 8% were actually found to be proficient, according to the results. Additionally, the study did not find a correlation between suffering from migraines and proficiency, nor was there a correlation between the participant’s perception of their own knowledge and their actual proficiency.

The researchers also noted that the level of competency among medical students and pharmacy students was not significantly different.

“Our study indicated that the majority of our students are uninformed about migraine treatments and as such, may not be prepared to advise patients. Given the prevalence and high costs related to migraines, educating our healthcare students on novel treatment options is essential,” concluded the authors. “We designed an educational tool for this purpose and a “migraine awareness day” to be held on campuses.”