Multinational descriptive analysis of the real-world burden of headache using the Migraine Buddy application

Peter J. Goadsby*, Luminita Constantin, Caty Ebel-Bitoun, Iva Igracki Turudic, Simon Hitier, Caroline Amand-Bourdon, Andrew Stewart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background and purpose: A large proportion of headache sufferers do not routinely seek medical care. App-based technologies permit the collection of real-world data over time and between countries that can help assess true burden of headache. This study used a mobile phone application to collect information on the real-world burden of self-diagnosed headache and to describe its impact on daily life in headache sufferers who do not routinely seek medical advice. Methods: This retrospective, non-interventional, cross-sectional study analysed self-reported data from users of the ‘Migraine Buddy’ app. The main objective was to describe self-reported characteristics of headache and migraine (triggers, duration, frequency), treatment patterns and impact on daily activity in headache sufferers from Australia, Brazil, France, Germany and Japan. Data including demographics, self-diagnosed episode type (headache/migraine), duration, potential triggers and impact on daily activity are reported. All analyses were exploratory and performed per country. Results: Self-reported data were collected from 60,474 users between August 2016 and August 2018. Approximately 90% of users were females; >60% were aged 24–45 years. Over one-third of users reported having two to five episodes of headache or migraine per month; impact included impaired concentration, being slower and missing work or social activities. Variations across countries were observed; within countries, episode characteristics were very similar for self-diagnosed headache versus migraine. Conclusions: Headache tracking was used to describe the experience, impact and self-management approaches of migraine and headache sufferers in a real-world setting. Headache disorders present a range of important issues for patients that deserve more study and reinforce the need for better approaches to management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4184-4193
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • headache
  • headache impact
  • headache triggers
  • real-world evidence


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