The use of a mobile phone headache diary application by adolescents suffering with migraines can provide richer and more accurate information about migraine duration and intensity, according to research led by Cincinnati Children’s

Nearly 10 percent of 17-year old girls and 4 percent of boys in the U.S. suffer with migraines, according to the American Migraine Foundation, and evidence suggests that migraine pain often is underreported.

Previous studies have suggested that electronic diaries can help with compliance, accuracy, and acceptability compared to traditional paper diaries. The latest findings were presented in June at the 54th Annual Scientific Sessions of the American Headache Society.  

 “This study was designed to determine if an electronic headache diary accessed via an application on an iPod Touch device would help teens monitor and report headache severity, characteristics, and duration. Additionally, information about disability, mood, stress, and functioning and adherence to medication regimens and healthy lifestyle behaviors is captured,” says Brandon Aylward, PhD, co-principal investigator of the study.

“We found that teens using the app iMigraine, an iOS application, were able to effectively monitor and assess their pain and functioning on a fixed-based interval for 45 consecutive days using an iPod Touch,” he says. “We believe this approach is a useful aid in the development and implementation of effective and sustainable interventions for adolescents with migraine.”

The research team also included Stephanie M. Sullivan, BS, John W. Kroner, BA, Marielle A. Kabbouche, MD, Hope O'Brien, MD, Joanne Kacperski, MD, Andrew D. Hershey, MD, PhD, and Scott W. Powers, PhD, co-principal investigator.