2017 The Core Outcome Set for Headache (COSH) Study

The Core Outcome Set for Headache (COSH) Study: working towards agreement on what should be measured in headache research studies

Understanding the way in which headaches affect people and the potential benefits of treatment is important. However, there is currently no guidance for how best to do this and a wide range of approaches are used. These approaches to assessment are called outcomes or outcome measures – you may have experience of completing these measures during your visits to clinics or if you have previously taken part in a research study.

The Core Outcome Set for Headache (COSH) study will seek to better understand the outcomes that matter most to people who experience headache, clinicians (including doctors and specialist nurses), policy makers and researchers, with a view to reaching agreement on a small group of outcomes (that is, a ‘core outcome set for headache’) that should be included, as a minimum, in all future headache studies.

Involvement in this stage of the study will involve completion of up to three on-line questionnaires over a period of four-months (July to November 2017). Each questionnaire will ask participants to think about the aspects of health they think should be assessed in all headache research studies; each questionnaire will take no-longer than 15-minutes to complete. Completed questionnaires will be returned using an on-line system.

The study is being led by Dr Kirstie Haywood and Prof Martin Underwood at Warwick University (UK) and is being performed in collaboration with the University College of London, Institute of Neurology (Dr Manjit Matharu) and University Hospital of North Midlands, Stoke-on-Trent (Dr Brendan Davies). We intend for the Core Outcome Set for Headaches (COSH) to be representative of the needs and views of people with headache, health professionals and researchers who are actively involved in the care of people with, or research associated with, headache. Therefore, the core research team includes people with headache and their advocates (including the National Migraine Centre, Migraine Action and The Migraine Trust), clinicians and researchers. We also have established an international steering committee.

If you would like to take part in this part of the study – or would like to know more - please do contact Dr Kirstie Haywood or Kim White (study co-ordinator) on the e-mails listed below for further information or to arrange a convenient time to speak. In responding, we would be grateful if you could please indicate which headache category best describes you:

      1. 1)EPISODIC MIGRAINE/EPISODIC TENSION-TYPE HEADACHE: that is, a migraine or tension-type headache occurring on 14 days or fewer per month; and
      2. 2)CHRONIC MIGRAINE/CHRONIC TENSION-TYPE HEADACHE (+/- MEDICATION OVERUSE HEADACHE): that is, a headache occurring on 15 or more days per month for more than 3 months; this headache may or may not include the features of migraine headache, and may or may not be associated with medication overuse.   

Contact details:

•             Dr Kirstie Haywood – K.L.Haywood@warwick.ac.uk

•             Kim White – Kimberley.white@warwick.ac.uk

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