Friday, May 13, 2011

Critique of KMBC News Segment on Migraine


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Last night during The Oprah Winfrey Show I saw a teaser for a news segment about a plastic surgery treatment for chronic migraine patients. Unfortunately the people working on the promos didn't seem nearly as knowledgeable about migraine disease as the reporter who worked on the piece itself, Maria Antonia. What follows is the email I sent them about their coverage:

I saw your segment on a procedure that prevents migraine attacks at 10 pm last night, and I have some constructive criticism to pass along. As someone who has lived with migraine disease most of my life and who has had chronic intractable migraine for eight years, educating people about migraine disease is a passion. I write about migraine-related issues and work as a patient advocate to educate patients and their families and help them get the services they need. When I come across information that seems to slightly misstate certain facts about migraine disease I feel a great responsibility to reach out. It's not the story itself that I feel was inaccurate. I was actually very pleased with Maria Antonia's choice of wording throughout her report. Rather, it was the promo at 5 pm that bothered me.

Migraine disease is a multifaceted neurological condition. It is much, much more than a headache. The terms "headache" and "migraine" are not interchangeable. Headache pain is but one symptom of a migraine attack. Most people also experience nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound & smell, and neck pain. Furthermore some people experience migraine attacks with no pain involved.

I'm sure everyone there wants to be as accurate as possible in their work, so my message isn't meant to be rude or disrespectful. I hope in the future when you cover migraine-related topics you will keep these thoughts in mind, and please pass my kudos along to Maria. Thank you for your time.

You can see the video of Maria's excellent report here: Plastic Surgery Can Help Stop Migraines.


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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.