2018 Nov 27;19(1):115. doi: 10.1186/s10194-018-0946-z.



Migraine is associated with many debilitating symptoms that affect daily functioning. My Migraine Voice is a large global cross-sectional study aimed at understanding the full burden and impact of migraine directly from patients suffering from ≥4 monthly migraine days (MMDs) with a history of prophylactic treatment failure.


This study was conducted worldwide (31 countries across North and South Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region) using an online survey administered to adults with migraine who reported ≥4 MMDs in the 3 months preceding survey administration, with pre-specified criteria of 90% having used preventive migraine treatment (80% with history of ≥1 treatment failure). Prophylactic treatment failure was defined as a reported change in preventive medication by individuals with migraine for any reason, at least once.


In total, 11,266 individuals participated in the survey. Seventy-four percent of the participants reported spending time in darkness/isolation due to migraine (average: 19 h/month). While 85% of all respondents reported negative aspects of living with migraine (feeling helpless, depressed, not understood), sleeping difficulties (83%), and fear of the next attack (55%), 57% shared ≥1 positive aspect (learning to cope, becoming a stronger person). Forty-nine percent reported feeling limited in daily activities throughout all migraine phases. Migraine impact on professional, private, or social domains was reported by 87% of respondents (51% in all domains). In the previous 12 months, 38% of respondents had visited the emergency department (average: 3.3 visits), whereas 23% stayed in hospital overnight (average: 3.2 nights) due to migraine.


The burden of migraine is substantial among this cohort of individuals with at least 4 migraine days per month and for whom at least 1 preventive migraine treatment had failed. Interestingly, respondents reported some positive aspects in their migraine journey; the greater resilience and strength brought on by coping with migraine suggests that if future treatments could address existing unmet needs, these individuals with migraine will be able to maximize their contribution to society.


My Migraine Voice survey: a global study of disease burden among individuals with migraine for whom preventive treatments have failed.