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my Wireless Headache Interventions

myWHI is a collection of online self-help resources designed to help people with recurrent headaches or migraines

my Wireless Headache Interventions

myWHI is a collection of online self-help resources designed to help people with recurrent headaches or migraines

Overview

Headache disorders, including tension-type headache and migraines, are among the most common diseases in the world and can impact many parts of an individual’s life. If headaches are affecting your life, the myWHI can provide you with resources to help you better understand and cope with your headaches.

The myWHI includes a diary and two programs (PRISM and SPHERE). These self-help resources are online and mobile-friendly. They have been developed using clinical expertise, the best research evidence and input from people with headaches.


The myWHI does not replace medical care. We advise everyone with headaches to regularly visit their doctor/health care professional to keep them updated, especially if there is anything unusual about your headaches (e.g., suddenly happen more often, change in pattern).

How do I access these resources?

  • myWHI diary: Coming soon. We are working to make the diary available to everyone.
  • PRISM/SPHERE: Available through our research study. We are looking for participants! Learn more about our study

myWHI Diary

Electronic Headache Diary

The myWHI diary is a mobile-friendly online resource. It helps you to track important headache information (e.g., length, severity, location, headache symptoms). It also helps you to track potential triggers, other daily details (e.g., number of sleep hours) that may be influencing your headaches, and strategies that you use to manage your headaches (e.g., medication).

It includes a wide range of graphical reports. These reports can help you learn about patterns in your headaches, identify your headache triggers, and find out what strategies help reduce your headaches. You can access these reports anytime and show them to your doctor if you wish.

Our research team has tested and investigated the diary. We found that it is an accurate and reliable tool and it is perceived as useful when used for adolescents and young adults with headaches. For more information about our studies, see references.


Tracking your headaches through a diary can help you. The more you know about your headaches, the more prepared you and your doctor can be to get them under control.

We are committed to protecting the privacy of the individuals who use this diary and therefore, we are in compliance with the principles of the Personal Health Information Act as well as the Tri Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans.

How do I access the diary?

Coming soon! We are working to make the diary available to everyone.

Email us at team@mywhi.ca and we can let you know when the diary is available!

PRISM

PeRsonalized Intervention for the Self-management of Migraines

PRISM is a mobile-friendly online program that helps individuals with migraines to identify and manage triggers.

PRISM is built upon the myWHI diary and includes the diary as part of it. PRISM performs sophisticated analysis on the diary data to discover your most likely headache triggers. Once a trigger or a combination of triggers is identified, PRISM reports back this information and gives you a few personalized recommendations to manage the trigger/s. You can then select the recommendation that you like best and set a goal to help you follow it. Once set, PRISM encourages you to track your progress and by doing this, you can learn if what you are doing is having an effect on your headaches.


PRISM may be helpful because discovering and dealing with triggers is essential for the successful management of migraines.

How do I access PRISM?

Only available through our upcoming research study.

SPHERE

Specialized Program for Headache Reduction

SPHERE is an online Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)* program that you can follow on your own and at your own pace. It offers information and teaches you skills so you can better understand your headaches and how to cope with them. It covers a variety of topics from headache triggers to relaxation strategies. There are interactive tasks to help you learn and practice the skills.

In addition to the learning topics, SPHERE includes:

  • The myWHI diary. Early in the program, you are encouraged to use the myWHI diary to track your headaches.

  • A discussion forum. The forum helps to connect the SPHERE community made up of all the individuals who are using the program.


*CBT is a type of therapy that can be used to treat a wide range of conditions. It helps individuals by changing how they think and how they behave. CBT has been shown to work for individuals with headaches and migraines and it has been recommended as the first line of treatment along with medication. We created SPHERE to improve access to this type of therapy.

How do I access SPHERE?

Only available through our upcoming research study.

Research Study

Testing myWHI: Online self-guided programs for migraine

Do you have headaches or migraines?

Are you 14-35 years old?

Do you have a smartphone?

Do you have headaches or migraines?

Are you 14-35 years old?

Do you have a smartphone?

If so, we are testing two of our myWHI programs designed to help you better understand and cope with your headaches. These self-help resources are online and mobile-friendly.

SPHERE offers you information and teaches you skills. It covers a variety of topics from headache triggers to relaxation strategies. There are interactive tasks to help you learn and practice the skills. Learn more about SPHERE

PRISM will help you to discover your headache triggers and then recommend strategies to manage them. You can set goals to follow the recommendations and track your progress. Learn more about PRISM

We need YOUR help with testing PRISM and SPHERE in our upcoming research study. Starting in the fall of 2016, our study aims to learn if these myWHI programs can help reduce your headache and their impact on your everyday life.


This research study has been approved by the IWK Health Centre’s Research Ethics Board (#1020091).

If you are eligible to take part in our upcoming research study:

  • there is no need to travel! We would like people around the world to try our programs.
  • you may be asked to try one of our two myWHI programs.
  • study activities are done online when you want, at home or on the go!
  • you will be compensated for your time and effort in the study.

Enter your email and we will let you know when we are ready to get our study started!

Your email will only be used by the research team to provide updates on this study.

Thank you for your interest! We shall send you a study update in the fall of 2016. Enjoy your summer!

About Us Contact References Testimonials

We are an experienced research team of health and technology experts who care about individuals who have headaches. We want to help them manage their headaches by creating online resources and making them widely available. The leaders of this research program are Drs. Anna Huguet and Patrick McGrath. Our research is based at the Centre for Research in Family Health within the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Team Leaders

  • Anna Huguet, PhD. Research Scientist, IWK Health Centre; Adjunct Professor, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada

  • Patrick McGrath, PhD. Vice President Research, Innovation and Knowledge Translation for the IWK Health Centre and the Nova Scotia Health Authority; Canada Research Chair, Professor of Science, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada

Co-investigators (they have contributed in the development and/or evaluation of some of these resources): Ian Kronish, MD (Columbia University Medical Center); Catherine MacLean, MD (Memorial University of Newfoundland); Allan Purdy, MD (QE II Health Sciences Centre); Jennifer Stinson, PhD (SickKids Research Institute, University of Toronto); Carolyn Watters, PhD (Dalhousie University); Lori Wozney, PhD (IWK Health Centre)

  • IWK Health Centre
  • Room K8527, PO Box 9700
  • 5850/5980 University Ave.
  • Halifax, NS
  • Canada
  • B3K 6R8

Please contact us with any questions, concerns, suggestions, or comments.

Lead Investigators
Dr. Patrick McGrath, Dr. Anna Huguet
Research Staff
Vanessa Varalli, Sharlene Rozario
Technical Team
Simon MacIntyre
  • Huguet A, McGrath PJ, Wheaton M, Mackinnon SP, Rozario S, Tougas M, Stinson J, MacLean C. Testing the feasibility and psychometric properties of the myWHI diary in adolescents and young adults with headaches. JMIR mHealth uHealth 2015;3(2):e39. Open Access
  • Huguet A, Stinson J, Mackay B, Watters C, Tougas M, White M, McGrath PJ. Bringing psychosocial support to headache sufferers using information and communication technology: lessons learned from asking potential users what they want. Pain Res Manag. 2014;19(1):e1-8. Open Access
  • Hundert AS, Huguet A, McGrath PJ, Stinson JN, Wheaton M. Commercially available mobile phone headache diary apps: a systematic review. JMIR mHealth uHealth 2014;2(3):e36. Open Access
  • MacLean C, Huguet A, McGrath PJ, Wheaton M, Mackinoon SP, Rozario S, Tougas M, Stinson J. An electronic diary for adolescents and young adults with headaches: Evaluation of its feasibility and psychometric properties. Poster session presented at PriFor 2014: Innovating and Integrating Healthcare, Newfoundland in St. John's, Canada, September; 2014.
  • Stinson JN, Huguet A, McGrath PJ, Rosenbloom B, Soobiah C, White M, Coburn G. A qualitative review of the psychometric properties and feasibility of electronic headache diaries for children and adults: Where we are and where we need to go. Pain Res Manag 2013:18;142-52. Open Access
I found it (the myWHI diary) really easy to use. It only took like a minute and a half to go through all the questions on days when I didn’t have headaches. I actually really liked it. It’s a good way to keep track of when I have headache. Female, 24 years old myWHI Diary
I’ve tried to keep track of what days I have headaches in the past because I tend to get a lot of headaches. If I don’t have something specific to write it down on sometimes I would write it down on a diary or a calendar or something like that. But usually it wasn’t very reliable. But this I liked that it would give me an alarm and tell me ‘okay, update’, and I’d be like ‘right! I had a headache today’. And to keep track of other things going on in my life. Like if my hair was too tight, or I had too much caffeine or not enough, or didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Those were really good ways to see what was correlated with my headaches. Female, 22 years old myWHI Diary
I really like it. I’m planning on taking it in to my neurologist when I see them next. She’ll be able to see in a much better way how my time has been. Female, 24 years old myWHI Diary
It was just really easy to use. I’ve had other headache diaries that were really confusing and it took a long time to fill in. This one doesn’t take a long time to fill in, even if I’m out I can take a minute or two to fill in. Female, 16 years old myWHI Diary
You have a good idea of what people are going through and you’re tracking the right things. My frustration, I have downloaded probably 10 other apps for pain in general or migraines, and none of them actually track what I want them to track. I just feel like you guys know, or have a really good idea of what people are wanting to track or needing to track to try and get a good handle on their migraines. So thank you guys for doing a really good job. Female, 25 years old myWHI Diary
There are a lot of diaries for iPhone out there and most of them aren’t very good. I was trying to find one that would be helpful. This has been the first helpful one yet. Female, 16 years old myWHI Diary
It’s so straight forward. My doctor told me that you should keep a diary for your migraines but it’s so annoying to have a specific diary for that. But the fact that it’s on your phone, and it’s pretty much dummy-proof. I thought it was really easy. It was good. Female, 21 years old myWHI Diary
I think someone who wanted to have a conversation with their physician would really find that (reports) helpful. Female, 27 years old myWHI Diary