Managing Migraine: A Patient's Guide to Successful Migraine Care

Patient Expert

Four well known and respected professionals in the Migraine and headache field --Dr. Roger Cady, Dr. Richard Lipton, Dr. Kathleen Farmer, and Dr. Marcelo Bigal -- have teamed up to bring us a pair of books meant to "improve the quality of communication between healthcare professionals and their patients."2

"Managing Migraine: A Patient's Guide to Successful Migraine Care," is a compact, 95-page, spiral-bound book for patients. Its eight chapters reflect quite well the most basic questions patients generally have about their Migraines, working with their doctors, and their Medications:

  1. What Causes My Migraines?
  1. What Kind of Headache Do I Have?
  1. What Should I Expect at My Initial Visit?
  1. How Can I Make the Best Use of My Follow-up Appointments?
  1. Taking Control of Migraine Medications
  1. Becoming a Migraine Manager
  1. Learning New Communication and Behavioral Skills
  1. Building a Migraine Toolbox

The appendices offered in the book are quite helpful:

• Useful Tools for Follow-up

• Learning Early Intervention

• Useful Web Sites

Strengths of "Managing Migraine: A Patient's Guide to Successful Migraine Care"

• You couldn't ask for better authors to speak to this topic.

• This book is easy to understand, yet it doesn't "talk down" to us.

• Learning points are boxed for easy review.

• Images and illustrations add to the points made in the text.

• Chapter 8: Building a Migraine Toolbox is exemplary with questions and checklists.

• This book is valuable by itself or with its companion, "Managing Migraine: A Healthcare Professional's Guide to Collaborative Migraine Care."

• Great learning tools. Example: on page 75, there's an illustration to help remember symptoms of the prodrome, with a symptom assigned to each letter of the word Migraine:

Comments to you from two of the authors:

Our reason for writing these books was to improve the quality of communication between healthcare professionals and their patients. The primary premise in these books is that migraine is a chronic condition with the potential to evolve into a chronic disease. Hence there is a need to for healthcare providers and migraine sufferers to learn from one another. The foundation for this type of collaborative care is communication. These books underscore that while healthcare professionals may be experts on the subject of migraine, it is the person living with migraine who is the expert on her own experience. We believe that improved therapeutic outcomes from care occur when there is collaboration and meaningful communication between healthcare providers and migraine sufferers. ~ Dr. Roger Cady

In writing these two books, one for health care professionals and the other for headache sufferers and their families, we hoped to bridge the communication gap separating these groups. We hoped to create a common language and understanding that would provide a foundation for better diagnosis and treatment. The books have parallel structures and address similar ideas to different audiences. ~ Dr. Richard Lipton

Summary and comments:

It's quite apparent that many years of cumulative experience, much thought, and great care have gone into this book. It takes us back - back to the very basics of communication between patient and doctor, doctor and patient. This is an issue which is all too often overlooked, yet it is one of the most essential elements of Migraine management.

For patients: You can't go wrong with this book. No matter how experienced you are in communicating with your doctor and managing you Migraines, you can pick up a few tips here.

For doctors: This is a great book to suggest to or give to your patients as an investment in better communication. Better communication with your patients will lead to better compliance and outcomes.

Ranking: 5 stars out of 5 possible. Retail price: $19.95

For a review of "Managing Migraine: A Healthcare Professional's Guide to Collaborative Migraine Care," click HERE.


1 Cady, Roger K., MD; Lipton, Richard B., MD; Farmer, Kathleen, PhD; Bigal, Marcelo E., MD, PhD. "Managing Migraine: A Patient's Guide to Successful Migraine Care." Baxter Publishing. Hamilton, Ontario. 2008.

2 Interview with Dr. Roger K. Cady. Teri Robert. August 16, 2009.

3 Interview with Dr. Richard B. Lipton. Teri Robert. August 14, 2009.

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