The ability of postgraduate students to diagnose and treat migraine and tension-type headache: A hospital-based survey.

  • Awais Bashir Larik PUMHS Nawabshah.
  • Shaheen Ahmed Mughal Muhammad Medical College Mirpurkhas.
  • Muslim Ali Lakhiar LUMHS Jamshoro.
Keywords: Diagnosis, Headache, Migraine, Postgraduate Students


Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the ability of postgraduate medical students whether they can diagnose migraine and tension-type headache according to the International Headache Society criteria and whether they had an adequate clinical knowledge for the management of these headaches. Study Design: Cross Sectional Study. Setting: Departments of Neurology, PUMHS, Nawabshah and LUMHS, Jamshoro. Period: March and April 2018. Material & Methods: A questioner was designed outlining three options for the diagnosis of Migraine and Tension Type Headache (TTH) and the students were asked to pick the correct option which is based on the International Headache Society (IHS) criteria. In addition, a few more questions were incorporated relating to the management of these headaches, confidence in making the diagnosis, knowledge of most common type of headache, need for neuroimaging, presence of childhood migraine and the role of genes in causing migraine. Data was analyzed by using SPSS version 18. Results: A total of 73 postgraduate students responded to the questionnaire. Among them 21 were enrolled in MD and 52 were enrolled in FCPS training program. For migraine and TTH diagnostic criteria only 34% and 19% were able to pick the correct answers respectively. Although there answers were incorrect 65.8% students were confident about their diagnosis. Majority (58.9%) thought TTH as the most common headache and 11% thought migraine is the commonest. Most of the students 90.4% would go for neuroimaging in selected cases and the remaining 9.6%. Thought neuroimaging is indicated in every case of headache. In response to have you ever seen a child with migraine in 71% the response was NO. As far the question is there a role of genes in causing migraine 63% said YES while 37% thought there is NO role of genes in Migraine. Choice of drugs for acute and prophylactic treatment was also noted. Conclusion: The ability of postgraduate medical students to diagnose and treat migraine and tension-type headache was found to be less than satisfactory. There is a need for designing headache-specific CME programs for the postgraduate students so that their diagnostic and treatment abilities can be improved.

Author Biographies

Awais Bashir Larik, PUMHS Nawabshah.

MBBS, FCPS (Neurology)

Assistant Professor Neurology


Shaheen Ahmed Mughal, Muhammad Medical College Mirpurkhas.

MBBS, M.D (Neurology)

Professor Neurology

Muslim Ali Lakhiar, LUMHS Jamshoro.

MBBS, FCPS (Neurology)

Assistant Professor Neurology