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Treatment of children with migraine in emergency departments: national practice variation study.

Author(s): Richer LP, Laycock K, Millar K, Fitzpatrick E, Khangura S, Bhatt M, Guimont C, Neto G, Noseworthy S, Siemens R, Gouin S, Rowe BH, Pediatric Emergency Research Canada Emergency Department Migraine Group

Affiliation(s): University of Alberta, Department of Pediatrics, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. lricher@ualberta.ca

Publication date & source: 2010-07, Pediatrics., 126(1):e150-5. Epub 2010 Jun 7.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

OBJECTIVE: Children with migraine may present to an emergency department (ED) when outpatient management has failed; however, only limited research has examined migraine-abortive medications among children. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of ED presentations for migraine or headache between July 1, 2004, and June 30, 2005, in 10 Canadian pediatric EDs was conducted. A priori, evidence-based treatments were defined as any treatment that was based on high-quality evidence and an absence of opioids as first-line agents. RESULTS: A total of 2515 records were screened, and 1694 (67.4%) met inclusion criteria. The average age of patients was 12.1 years, 14.5% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 12.1%-17.2%) of patients experienced headache >15 days per month, and 62.6% (95% CI: 55.7%-68.9%) had already used migraine-abortive therapy. Significant variations in practice for all classes of migraine-abortive medications were observed. Dopamine receptor antagonists (prochlorperazine, metoclopramide, or chlorpromazine) (39% [95% CI: 28.4%-50.8%]) and orally administered analgesics (acetaminophen and ibuprofen) (24.5% [95% CI: 23.9%-46.8%]) were prescribed most commonly. Predictors for the use of evidence-based treatment included older age (odds ratio: 1.15 [95% CI: 1.07-1.24]) and a discharge diagnosis of migraine (odds ratio: 1.84 [95% CI: 1.11-3.05]). CONCLUSIONS: Children presenting to EDs for treatment often have frequent attacks and have experienced failure of outpatient, migraine-abortive efforts. Practice variations were impressive for the care of children with migraine in these Canadian EDs.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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