Impact and Burden of Episodic, Acute Migraine (I-BEAM): A Patient Experience Study

Poster presented at the 2020 AAN Annual Meeting, held virtually.

Authors: Jessica Ailani, Stephen B. Shrewsbury, Sutapa Ray


To better understand: 1) experiences with episodic migraine and effect on daily life; 2) typical pathway and barriers to diagnosis and treatment; and 3) satisfaction levels with current treatments and to identify unmet needs.


Participants were recruited via social media and referrals. After a preliminary 15-minute online survey to determine history, past and current treatments, and overall experience with migraine treatments a one-hour individual-depth interviews (IDIs) was conducted in three major US cities, and 1-hour web-enabled telephone-depth interviews (TDIs) with others throughout the US


Of 50 participants, 75% were female, 64% were aged 30-49 years, and 56% suffered from 3-5 migraines (or 4-8 migraine-days) a month. The two most common occurrences of migraines reported were rapid-onset (34%) and early morning (30%). Although 96% took a prescription medication, only 30% were satisfied with their medication. Incomplete, unreliable and short-lasting relief were the biggest problems. Lack of speed to onset of effect was also a point of dissatisfaction with >50% reporting inability to resume normal activities within 4 hours after medicating. Up to 68% reported headache relief lasting less than 12 hours and pain returning or worsening afterwards. Further, 30% respondents had to seek emergency migraine care in the past year despite access to standard of care. Thus, the social, societal and economic burden of episodic migraine significantly impacts the daily lives and livelihoods of patients with migraine.


This study further demonstrates the unmet needs of current episodic migraineurs. Patients described their ideal medication to be: (1) fast acting (15-30 mins) (2) long-lasting (12-24h) (3) providing complete or near complete relief (4) can be taken any time during the migraine and (5) with few/no side effects. Minor side effects are acceptable as a tradeoff for increased speed and efficacy.


Ailani J, Shrewsbury SB and Ray S, Impact and Burden of Episodic, Acute Migraine (I-BEAM): A Patient Experience Study, AAN 2020 Science Highlights Presentations.