Deborah Friedman, MD, MPH: Telemedicine for Headache Disorders


The professor of neurology, neurotherapeutics, and ophthalmology at UT Southwestern spoke about the potential of telemedicine in headache medicine, as well as the findings from a single-center, 45-patient study.

“There are actually states where there are no board-certified UCNS specialists in headache medicine. Given the magnitude of the number of people who have headache—and in many cases disabling headache—it becomes a real challenge for those people to find someone who’s able to take care of them."

At the 2019 American Headache Society Annual Meeting, July 11-14, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Deborah Friedman, MD, MPH, professor of neurology, neurotherapeutics, and ophthalmology, UT Southwestern, presented data from a study comparing telemedecine and in-office visits in patients with migraine. She and her co-investigators sought to examine whether telemedicine would be a feasible and efficacious option for migraine patients with severe headache disability.

Clinical outcomes, including improvement in Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) from baseline to 1 year (95% CI, -32.8 to 24.3; P =.76), improvement in number of headache days at 1 year (95% CI, -26.8 to 6.67; P =.22), and an average improvement in headache severity at 1 year (95% CI, -1.72 to 1.66; P =.97) in the telemedicine group were found to be noninferior to the in-office group. Friedman and colleagues noted that convenience was rated higher in the telemedicine group, while visit times were also shorter.

While at the AHS meeting, Friedman sat with NeurologyLive® to share her insight into the trial and its findings, as well as her thoughts on the use of telemedicine in headache disorders. For more on Friedman's study, click here.

For more coverage of AHS 2019, click here.


Friedman DI, Rajan B, Seidmann A. A randomized trial of telemedicine for migraine management. Presented at: 2019 American Headache Society Annual Meeting. July 11-14, 2019; Philadelphia, PA. Abstract LBOR01.

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