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Journal of General Practice Nursing (GPN) | March 2021

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Improving diagnosis and better management of migraine: the role of GPNs

Improving diagnosis and better management of migraine: the role of GPNs
Long term conditions

Pages: 30 - 33

Article topics: Diagnosis, Episodic, chronic, Migraines, Prevalence, Treatment approaches

Migraine is a common debilitating headache condition that affects the quality of life of those affected. Migraine costs the NHS £150 million annually, with GP visits and prescriptions accounting for most of these costs. With access to neurologists and headache specialists limited in the UK, migraine is a condition GPs and general practice nurses (GPNs) are faced with on a daily basis. Therefore, it is vital that GPNs have good knowledge of migraines. They should be able to distinguish between common primary headaches, such as tension-type headaches (TTH), and migraines to avoid misdiagnosis and inform appropriate treatment, as well as to understand when acute or preventative treatments are required. As GPNs are limited in treatments they can provide for migraine, it is important that they recognise when to refer patients to a neurologist. This article explores how nurses within the general practice can effectively manage migraine patients to improve patient quality of life and alleviate pressures on an overstretched healthcare system.

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