Background: Community pharmacists are in an ideal position to ameliorate migraineur under-consulting, under-diagnosis, and under-treatment. Contemporary education/training on developing therapeutic alliances with patients and in advanced pharmacotherapy may further motivate pharmacists to impact the care of migraineurs. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to assess pharmacists' perceptions of a migraine training program and their self-assessment of subsequent impact on patient care and to develop and assess a tool evaluating the impact of the training program from the patients' perspectives: (1) for patients diagnosed with migraines - identify perceptions of care by pharmacists who have undergone specialty training in migraine vs. pharmacists who have not; and (2) for patients with recurrent headaches and not diagnosed with migraines - identify perceptions of pharmacist effectiveness and thoroughness, after specialty training, to identify a potential migraine diagnosis and referral for advanced care vs. pharmacists that have not undergone specialty training. Methods: This study employed a mixed method survey design using community pharmacies from the Tulsa, Oklahoma and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania greater metropolitan areas. Pharmacists from intervention pharmacies received specialty training on migraine and were surveyed on their current practices and about the education program. Approximately 1 month after the training, control and intervention pharmacists were surveyed on current practices. Additionally, patients from both pharmacies were surveyed to assess Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) and pharmacists' delivery of care derived from the Pharmacists' Care of Migraineurs Scale (PCMS). Surveys were handed out for a period of 3-months. Results: There were 16 pharmacists and 61 patients recruited. There was no difference in patient perceptions of pharmacists' care or in patient self-perceptions between migraineurs and recurrent headache sufferers. Ninety-two percent of pharmacists agreed that the program could be transferred to an internet-based educational program. The 14-item patient survey, however, demonstrated good internal consistency reliability, with each question having a Cronbach's alpha 0.80 or higher. Conclusions: There are few studies evaluating the role and potential impact community pharmacists can have on patients suffering from migraines or recurrent headaches. While no difference was found between the groups, the internal reliability of the survey questions and the need to address needs of migraineurs warrants tool dissemination and a larger-scale study.
- Community pharmacists