Moving forward to improve migraine management in Canada.
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The goal of the Canadian Migraine Forum was to work towards improving the lives of Canadians with migraine by reducing their migraine-related disability. Migraine has been ranked 19th by the World Health Organization among causes of years of life lived with disability. To improve management of migraine in Canada, the participants in the forum identified several important needs and strategies. There is a need for more leaders in the field of migraine to work with other stakeholders to obtain funding and develop treatment programs across Canada. Leadership is also required to address the under use of both migraine specific symptomatic medications and prophylactic medications in Canada. More non-physician health professionals are required to work with physicians in migraine treatment teams. This could assist with a shortage of physician resources, and could also help to better meet the needs of the migraine patient. Individuals with migraine need to be identified who could work with health care professionals to help meet the needs of the migraine patients in our communities. Application of the chronic disease management model for migraine treatment was also seen as an important factor for the management of migraine. Programs are needed to promote earlier diagnosis, long-term follow-up, comprehensive patient education, and the use of multidisciplinary treatment teams where appropriate. Also considered important was the need to increase knowledge about migraine through public awareness campaigns, websites, medical education, and appropriate reading material for patients. The public needs to be aware that migraine is a biological disorder that can cause significant disability and suffering. Lastly, there is a pressing need to promote more migraine research, including careful outcome assessments for treatment programs that involve non-pharmacological treatments and a team based approach to migraine management. There are many challenges that must be overcome if we are to be successful in reducing migraine related disability in Canada. Success will depend upon the joint efforts of physicians, other healthcare professionals, individuals with migraine, and the public at large.
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