Migraine Sufferers’ Tweets Offer a Window Into the Pain Experience

New research published this month in the Journal of Medical Internet Research is the first to examine the impact of migraine attacks on patients’ daily lives through the medium of their attack-related tweets. The findings generated unique information about who suffers from migraines and what, how, where and when patients use social media to describe their pain. Researchers also noted that the growth of social media has facilitated a trend toward the cathartic sharing of physical, as well as emotional pain, from chronic conditions such as migraine headache.

Among the findings reported by the team are the preponderance of female sufferers; that the highest global peak of migraine tweets occurred Mondays at 14:00 GMT, or 10am Eastern Daylight Saving Time; and that the US accounted for 58% of migraine tweets, followed by Europe at 20%.

Migraine headache is a significant public health problem, adversely affecting mood, productivity, and overall quality of life. An estimated 12% of the Western world population suffer migraine attacks, and of those, 75% see reduced functionality and 30% require bed rest.

Read a news story about the research, with additional link to the original article, here.


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