Implementation and evaluation of existing guidelines on the use of neurophysiological tests in non-acute migraine patients: A questionnaire survey of neurologists and primary care physicians

P. Rossi, J. Schoenen, M. Bolla, C. Tassorelli, G. Sandrini, G. Nappi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background and purpose: The main aims of this study were to evaluate: the diffusion, use and perception of the usefulness of the 2004 EFNS guidelines on neurophysiological testing in non-acute headache patients; the frequency with which the different neurophysiological tests were recommended in non-acute migraine patients by physicians aware or unaware of the guidelines; and the appropriateness of the reasons given for recommending neurophysiological tests. Methods: One hundred and fifty physicians selected amongst the members of the Italian societies of general practitioner (GPs), neurologists and headache specialists were contacted via e-mail and invited to fill in a questionnaire specially created for the study. Results: Ninety-two percent of the headache specialists, 8.6% of the neurologists and 0% of the GPs were already aware of the EFNS guidelines. A significantly higher proportion of headache specialists had not recommended any neurophysiological tests to the migraine patients they had seen in the previous 3 months, whereas these tests had frequently been prescribed by the GPs and neurologists. Overall, 80%, 42% and 42.6% of the reasons given by headache specialists, neurologists and GPs, respectively, for recommending neurophysiological testing in their migraine patients were appropriate (P <0.01). Conclusions: The diffusion of the EFNS guidelines on neurophysiological tests and neuroimaging procedures was found to be very limited amongst neurologists and GPs. The physicians aware of the EFNS guidelines recommended neurophysiological tests to migraine patients less frequently and more appropriately than physicians who were not aware of them. The most frequent misconceptions regarding neurophysiological tests concerned their perceived capacity to discriminate between migraine and secondary headaches or between migraine and other primary headaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-942
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Volume16
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009

Keywords

  • Diagnosis
  • Guidelines
  • Migraine
  • Neurophysiological tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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