Electronic monitoring and alerting system for managing medication-overuse headache
In ‘medication-overuse headaches’ (MOH) cycles, people use acute pain-relief medicine more than two or three times a week or more than 10 days out of the month. It is a chronic disabling, dull constant headache which often worsens in the morning with a high rate of weakness. Most of the days, it is feasible to have medication headaches with episodic migraine pain superimposed on the ‘headache’.
A study was done which analyzed whether the adoption of electronic-assisted monitoring, advice and communication in Europe and Latin America would upgrade the outcome over a follow-up of 6 months in a study conducted in six headache centers. Total 663 MOH subjects in total were registered and divided into two groups: Comoestas group was monitored with an electronic diary associated with an alert system and an enabled communication option, and the Classic group with a paper headache diary.
A comparison of the Comoestas group with Classic group revealed a significantly higher percentage of overuse-free subjects: 73.1 vs 64.1% (odds ratio 1.45, 95% confidence interval 1.07–2.09, p = 0.046). The Comoestas group achieved better results regarding the number of days/month with intake of acute drugs and level of disability [Migraine Disability Assessment Score: Comoestas group – 42.5 ± 53.6 (35.5–49.3) and Classic group – 27.5 ± 56.1 (20.6–34.3) (p < 0.003)].
The culmination of this study furnished that the adoption of the electronic tool improved the outcome of patients suffering from MOH after withdrawal from overused drugs. The information and communication technology constitutes a valid aid for optimizing the management of chronic conditions at risk of worsening or of relapsing.