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Assessment and management of migraines in primary care settings

Margaret Perry explains how nurses can alleviate this commonly misunderstood condition

Migraines can be a very distressing occurrence with a significant impact on wellbeing and quality of life. Occurring at varying degrees of both frequency and severity, they regularly result in time off work or school and have the potential to be severely debilitating. It is estimated that there are 190,000 migraine attacks experienced every day in England and an estimated 6 million sufferers in the UK alone, with approximately 18% of episodes occurring in women and around 6 % affecting men.1 However, these statistics may be inaccurate as it is thought that many sufferers self-medicate with over the counter preparations and do not report their symptoms to a GP, or seek advice from healthcare professionals.

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