February 7th, 2003

James (Toby) Vandenberg, M.D., medical director of Great River Medical Center’s Emergency Department, and Leo Banwert, P.A.-C., a physician assistant in the Emergency Department, recently coauthored a study that was published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. The four-month study compared the standard pharmaceutical treatment guidelines for benign migraine headache to how treatment is actually provided in emergency departments.

“The results of the study showed that emergency department physicians often did not follow the recommended treatment guidelines for benign headache, and that treatment for this diagnosis can vary greatly from one emergency department to another,” Dr. Vandenberg said. “We are in the process of completing a follow-up study in which we’ve surveyed the specific emergency department physicians involved in the first study to determine why they decided not to follow the standard treatment guidelines, and why they selected their specific course of treatment.”

“Ultimately, the results of these studies may lead to modifications in the standard treatment guidelines for this diagnosis and a better overall understanding of benign migraine headache,” he said.