Migraine stigma

Marcelo M Valença, Mario F P Peres

     Living with a chronic disease is stigmatizing, resulting in disruption of social and family support, loss of work productivity, and decreased quality of life. Society better understand a disease with any abnormal number measured (blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol) or image (infection, stroke, cancer, myocardial infarction).

     Several disorders without a surrogate marker, such as all mental health disorders, pain conditions, functional somatic syndromes, are even more stigmatized because in addition to loss of function, they became invisible to others, family, society and even physicians.

     Patient advocacy has been gaining increasingly projection in the headache field. One of the major aspects observed by headache patients is the stigma. It has been studied scientifically in neurological conditions, in pain, and also in headache disorders.

     This issue of Headache Medicine brings an important step in studying stigma in Brazil and in other Portuguese speaking countries, a translation and cultural validation of the 8-item short instrument for measuring stigma (1) has been published.

     We hope future studies can be done so this topic is better understood.


Marcelo M Valença

Mario F P Peres 



  1. Brancucci et al. Translation, back-translation and cultural adaptation of the 8-item Stigma Scale for Chronic Illness to Portuguese. Headache Medicine 2019 10 (3): 73-75