2022 Oct;62(9):1177-1186. doi: 10.1111/head.14395. Epub 2022 Oct 6.

Marion Beltramone, Sylvain Redon, Sara Fernandes, Anne Ducros, Alexandre Avouac, Anne Donnet


Background: The treatment of patients with headache represents an important part of a neurologist’s activity. It requires sufficient training for neurology residents. In France, residents in neurology can complete this training by attending specialized consultations or by participating in a postgraduate training program called “Diplôme Inter-Universitaire Migraine et Céphalées” (DIUMC).

Objective: The objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the French residents’ knowledge in headache medicine and the impact of different types of training in headache medicine that are available in France.

Methods: An anonymous survey was carried out among 548 French residents in neurology.

Results: The questionnaires of 121 residents (22.1%) were analyzed. Among them, 54.5% (66/121) had no complementary training apart from the internship (Group 1), 21.5% (26/121) had attended only specialized consultations (Group 2), and 24% (29/121) had participated in the DIUMC (Group 3). There was no difference between all groups regarding the knowledge of the prevalence of primary or chronic headaches. There was almost no difference between the groups in the management of episodic migraine. In contrast, the management of tension-type headache and chronic headache was better known by residents of Group 3 than residents of Group 1. In these two diseases, residents of Group 3 offered prophylactic treatment more often. Almost 29% of the residents (35/121) had read the French guidelines for the diagnosis and management of migraine. In Group 3, residents had read them significantly more often (1.6% in Group 1, 38.5% in Group 2 and 62.1% in Group 3, p 0.001).

Conclusion: This study shows the lack of knowledge among French neurology residents regarding headache medicine. It highlights the interest of specific training programs that could improve the practical and theoretical knowledge of future neurologists.

© 2022 The Authors. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Headache Society.

The teaching of headache medicine in France: A questionnaire-based study