What is the The Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) Test?

How Migraines Affect Your Everyday Functioning

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The Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) questionnaire was developed to measure the effect headaches have on a person's daily functioning. MIDAS takes into account the past three months and is composed of five questions -- simple and short.

One of the best ways to use this test is to take it at home and then take the results to your healthcare provider. As with all assessment tools, it's not to be used as a substitute for information your doctor may give you, but it can be a way to evaluate the severity of your headaches and how well you are treating them. It's simply a way for you take a more active role in your headache and migraine health. 

MIDAS Questions

These questions are used to determine your score, which then is matched to a level of disability.

  1. On how many days in the last 3 months did you miss work or school because your headaches?
  2. How many days in the last 3 months was your productivity at work or school reduced by half or more because of your headaches? (Do not include days you counted in question 1 where you missed work or school.)
  3. On how many days in the last 3 months did you not do household work because of your headaches?
  4. How many days in the last three months was your productivity in household work reduced by half of more because of your headaches? (Do not include days you counted in question 3 where you did not do household work.)
  5. On how many days in the last 3 months did you miss family, social or leisure activities because of your headaches?

Once you’ve answered these questions, add up the total number of days to determine your level of “disability.”

  • 0 to 5, MIDAS Grade I, Little or no disability
  • 6 to 10, MIDAS Grade II, Mild disability
  • 11 to 20, MIDAS Grade III, Moderate disability
  • 21+, MIDAS Grade IV, Severe disability

These designations are not magical. They don’t automatically determine which therapies you should receive, but they do give your doctor an indication as to how badly your headaches affect your life -- this is called headache-related disability.

Other Insightful MIDAS Information

The MIDAS questionnaire also includes two other questions that are not used for calculating your disability score, but may help you and your doctor determine a headache treatment plan. 

  • On how many days in the last 3 months did you have a headache? (If a headache lasted more than 1 day, count each day.)
  • On a scale of 0 to 10, on average how painful were these headaches? (where 0 = no pain at all and 10 = pain as bad as it can be.)

Bottom Line

The MIDAS questionnaire is a short test that can accurately and reliably determine how your headaches impact your daily life. Try completing the test on your own at home and bring your score with you to your next doctor's visit. 

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Article Sources
  • Stewart W F, et al. Validity of the Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) score in comparison to a diary-based measure in a population sample of migraine sufferers. Pain 2000;88(1):41-52.
  • Stewart, W.F., Lipton, R.B., Dowson, A.J., & Sawyer, J. Development and testing of the migraine disability assessment (MIDAS) questionnaire to assess headache-related disability. Neurology, 56(6 Suppl 1):S20-8.
  • Zandifar, A., et al. (2014). Reliability and validity of the migraine disability assessment scale among migraine and tension type headache in Iranian patients. BioMedical Research International, 978064.