The use of headache calendars may enable individuals who regularly experience migraine, tension-type, or cluster headaches to better identify particular triggers that are associated with headache attacks. This research was presented at the American Headache Society’s 60th Annual Scientific Meeting, held June 27 –July 1, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Study results showed that a high positive correlation between the trigger and headache event received higher ratings, and low correlation between events received lower ratings. However, the subjects often ignored negative associations — when triggers were present without headache — and gave a higher rating on days they experienced headache regardless of the actual association strength of the trigger. In fact, the study investigators found that the participants’ previous beliefs affected their ratings: A 25% increase in the strength of assumed associations was linked to a 0.2-point increase in the 0 to 10 strength rating.
Despite the bias by the participants in their previous beliefs about triggers and headache, “individuals with headache were able to identify associations between headaches and triggers when presented with headache calendars.”
Turner D, Houle TT. Accuracy of appraisal of headache trigger patterns using calendars. Presented at: 2018 American Headache Society Annual Scientific Meeting. June 27–July 1, 2018; San Francisco, CA. Abstract 449906.