The Economic Cost of Patients With Migraine Headache Referred to Specialist Clinics

Beatrice Osumili, Paul McCrone*, Sian Cousins, Leone Ridsdale

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To conduct a cost of illness study to estimate the economic impact of referring people with headache to specialists. Background: Headache is one of the commonest health conditions affecting individuals in society. Methods: Participants formed a convenience sample and were recruited from specialist headache clinics across London. Self-report data on service use over a 4-month period and lost employment were provided. These data were used to estimate economic costs. Predictors of cost were identified using multivariate analyses. Results: The mean (standard deviation) service costs for the 4-month period was £857 (£845). The mean total cost (including lost employment) was £6588 (£11,982) with costs of informal care accounting for 74% of this figure. Total costs were on average £1079 higher for a unit increase on the headache impact test scale (P <.001; 95% CI £330 to £1784). Conclusions: Costs of headache are high, and increase with severity of symptoms. The annual cost to the country for those referred to specialists is estimated at £835 million.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-294
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Surgical Research


  • costs and cost analysis
  • headache
  • migraine

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