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Migraine in Primary Care Advisors

MIPCA Projects

Providing guidelines for nurses

This project produced guidelines for the management of migraine by nurses in primary care. The MIPCA guidelines for migraine management are designed so that the GP and nurse have clearly defined roles, with the minimum of overlap in tasks.

In general, the nurse is the primary point of contact for the patient in the care team, and conducts the information gathering and routine assessments.

The GP is then free to diagnose and treat the patient effectively. The two roles are complementary, each contributing to the other’s strategies and tasks.

 Nurses play a key role in patient screening, where they can:

Armed with this information, the GP can then diagnose the patient and prescribe appropriate therapy.

Nurses also have a key role at follow-up. They can manage the patient’s appointments, persuading them to attend follow-up appointments and chasing them if they start to lapse from care. The nurse should monitor the patient’s illness progress and treatment outcome, by reviewing headache diaries and impact questionnaires, before the patient sees the GP. In uncomplicated cases, it may be possible for the nurse to conduct follow up over the telephone. In the future, nurse prescribers will also be able to deal with many migraine patients at follow-up without them needing to see the GP.


MacBean H, Leech J, Dungay J, Dowson AJ. New guidelines for the management of migraine by nurses. Practice Nursing 2004;15:346–50.


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