Social Distancing in Chronic Migraine during the COVID-19 Outbreak: Results from a Multicenter Observational Study.
BACKGROUND The restrictions taken to control the rapid spread of COVID-19 resulted in a sudden, unprecedented change in people's lifestyle, leading to negative consequences on general health. This study aimed to estimate the impact of such changes on migraine severity during 2020 March-May lockdown. METHODS Patients affected by migraine with or without aura, diagnosed by expert physicians, completed a detailed interview comprehensive of: assessment of migraine characteristics; measure of physical activity (PA) levels; measure of the intake frequency of main Italian foods; the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) questionnaire investigating sleep disorders. RESULTS We included 261 patients with a mean age of 44.5 ± 12.3 years. During social distancing, 72 patients (28%) reported a headache worsening, 86 (33%) an improvement, and 103 (39%) a stable headache frequency. A significant decrease of the PA levels during COVID-19 quarantine in the whole study sample was observed (median total metabolic equivalent task (METs) decreased from 1170 to 510; p < 0.001). Additionally, a significant difference was reported on median ISI scores (from 7 to 8; p < 0.001), which were increased in patients who presented a stable or worsening headache. CONCLUSIONS Our study confirmed that the restrictions taken during the pandemic have affected the practice of PA levels and sleep quality in migraine. Hence, PA and sleep quality should be assessed to find strategies for an improvement in quality of life.