Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Migraine Disability Assessment Score

 The Migraine Disability Assessment Score is a quantifying series of five questions, used by doctors all over the world, to evaluate exactly how severe a patient's migraine headaches are. The MIDAS can also be used to determine the migraine headaches' disabling level for daily activities.

The MIDAS, as stated above, has five basic questions, and to extra ones that are asked to the patient. Only the first five questions with numeric results, are used to determine the patient's score. The results are based on the number of days, in the past 3 months, that the patient has suffered with their migraine headaches. Instead of counting merely the number of migraine headache episodes the patient has, if they have more than a one day long migraine headache, the total number of days that the migraine headache lasted is used, rather than counting it as only one migraine.

I thought that the MIDAS sounded interesting, and, although I am disabled from my migraines, I thought I'd play along and take the test. My estimated number of days for each question will be in noted in blue.

The MIDAS Questionnaire:
1. In the last 3 months, how many days did you miss school or work because of your headaches? ---- no. of days.  20 days
2.In the last 3 months, how many days was your productivity reduced by half or more because of your headaches? Exclude the days of question 1. ---- no. of days.  20 days
3. In the last 3 months, how many days you did not do household works because of headache? ----- no. of days. 30 days
4. In the last 3 months, how many days your productivity in household work reduced by half or more due to your headaches. Exclude the days of question number three, when you did not do household work. ------- no. of days. 25 days
5.In the last 3 months, how many days did you miss family, social, or leisure activities because of your headaches? ------ no. of days.  40 days
So let's add up the score form these five questions that will form my score, and I get a score of 185.

Additional MIDAS Questionnaire:
> In the last 3 months, how many days did you have a headache? If headache was more than 1 day continuously, count each day. 90 days (aka full 3 months)
> How painful were these headaches, on a scale of 0-10, with 0 for no pain, and 10 for most severe pain one can have. average: 7/10
 Disability Assessment Score for Migraine:
> Grade I - Score of 0-5 (minimal or infrequent disability)
> Grade II - Score of 6-10 (mild or less frequent disability)
> Grade III - Score of 11-20 (moderate disability)
> Grade IV - Score of more than 20 (severe disability)
Let's see, last time I checked, a score of 185 is way higher than a score of 20, so I'm soundly in the Grade IV department, with a  severe disability. 

Who's surprised? Not I. Still, it's interesting to see just how disabled I can be qualified as, even when I think that I'm doing a fairly well.

Quantum in me fuit,
~ Gretchen

All factual information used in this blog was found here from a fake-cut from the Migraine Research Foundation's homepage.


  1. OMG, you can fill mine out for me. I only work 3 days a week so would have had to miss more days than I actually did if I worked 5 days a week. But the chronic pain 24/7 and having neuralgia in my finger tips and being in data entry is sooo painful.

  2. I juts did my The Migraine Disability Assessment Score and I got a result of 7 which is mild. It belongs to that category but it's already a severe pain for me. I can't imagine people who are categorized under Grade IV.

    1. Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you. I only just now saw this comment.

      Yes, your migraine may be rated as mild, but that doesn't mean that it's not severe for you. We all have different experiences, and one doesn't need to necessarily always compare and compete with others.

  3. hmmmm..... i just read this and now I'm thinking that my neuralgia in both hands may not all be from a previous neck injury. thanks anonymous! i'm a grade IV migraine sufferer since my teens. it can be very debilitating. i've missed more things in my life over headaches than i care to think about. and have had so many different therapies..... my doctor's next suggestion is botox injections. somehow have a deadly toxin injected into me on purpose just doesn't sit quite right.....

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  6. If I'm not working because of my migraine disability, do I just use 5 work days/week as how I would answer question # 1 and 2, or 4 work days/week because that was the schedule I used to have? I am constantly fighting with my disability company over whether my chronic migraines constitute Long Term Disability benefits (> 1 year of continuous disability). When I scored myself (not looking at my migraine journal, but just off of memory), I scored 185 as well. However, for some reason I tend to get more migraines on the weekends, how does that effect the score? On the Midas additional questions I scored 60 and 8/10 as well. I've suffered for over 5 years with this and can't find a medical treatment plan that works (the meds either don't work, I have adverse side effects, or I'm allergic to many of them). Do you have any suggestions as to where I should seek treatment? I live in Montana and of course expense is of some concern.

    1. Good questions. How I came up with my scoring for #1 (admittedly it being many years ago now) was based on how many days the migraines interfered enough with what my plans or responsibilities would have been. As for having more migraines, or more severe ones on the weekend, that would make sense to me. During the week, with work and whatnot, you are probably constantly pushing yourself past your natural limits to keep functioning. Then when the weekend comes, your body realizes that it does not have to be forcing itself forward, and instead just shuts down to recharge itself for the next week's over exertion. A great example of how this works is the Spoon Theory. If you continually borrow your spoons from the next day, eventually there is nothing left to borrow, leaving a void.
      I have gone to a couple different migraine clinics, one being in Michigan and the other the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Neither was entirely cheap, although I ended up being in-patient instead of having enough success through out-patient appointments. Have you tried different neurologists within your own area? Sometimes one neurologist will be most comfortable with only a vein of medications that are not the answer for you.

  7. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thanks, However I am having problems with your RSS.
    I don't know the reason why I am unable to join it.
    Is there anybody else getting the same RSS issues?
    Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly respond?

    1. Hi, sorry. I really can't tell you at the moment why the RSS isn't working. The only immediate (possibl) answer I could throw out is that I might not have ever set it up correctly. I'm incredibly elementary at some of the settings, and since I frequently end up getting sidelined half-way through an attempt, there might just be unfinished settings.
      I'll put the RSS feed on my list of things to work on.
      thanks for letting me know, and reading.


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