On November 11, fellow Migraine blogger Abi Addison wrote New Migraine Guide at About – a Good Thing? At that time, About.com had finally found someone to take Teri Robert’s place as their “guide” to headaches and Migraine. At that point, it didn’t look as if the new guide had much going for him, but most everyone I saw say anything about it, was taking Abi’s attitude of “Time will tell.”
Back on December 4, I wrote Disappointing Migraine Site: About.com. Even so, I had hope that the new guide, Mark Foley, D.O., just needed to gain his footing, and that the site would at least come close to what leading patient advocate Teri Robert had created there when she started the site for About in 2000.
Sadly, I have to say that the hope I had is dissipating. In his most recent newsletter, Foley featured an article about “persistent daily headaches.” His first paragraph reads:
“New persistent daily headaches (NPDH) can be a scary and difficult condition to develop. It is a form of chronic daily headache (CDH) that begins very abruptly. CDH refers to a number of headache types that occur more than 15 days in any given month. In the case of NPDH, these daily headaches develop over no more than a three-day period. ”
In his article, he quotes the International Headache Society’s (IHS) International Classification of Headache Disorders, which sets the standard for diagnosing and classifying headache disorders. So far, so good.
The problem is that, by the very IHS criteria, this disorder is NOT “new persistent daily headaches (NPDH).” It’s “New Daily Persistent Headache (NDPH). It’s not a typo. He says it wrong consistently throughout his article.
My question is this: If he can’t get the name of the disorder right, should we trust the information in his article?
For myself, I think I’ll pass. After all, it’s not hard to find Teri Robert and her article on the same topic, New Daily Persistent Headache – The Basics.
No, I believe I’ve given Foley and About.com a fair chance, and I find them sorely lacking. It looks as if the Headaches / Migraine site may not be the only site that’s losing ground either. As you surf around, from time to time, you can come across sites with statistics that rank the various health networks. Just a few years ago, About.com’s health section consistently ranked in the top five. In the most recent of these rankings I’ve seen, not only has About.com dropped out of the top five, but health networks that have been around for a far shorter period of time ARE in the top five.
Should Foley or anyone else from About.com come across this, please know that I take no joy in writing this. The internet has become an unparalleled tool for patients who need health information. We can use all the good networks, all the good sites, we can get. No, I take no joy in this. In a way, the decline of this About.com site is something I watch with something akin to grief.
Rest in peace, About.com Headaches / Migraine. You had a great run while it lasted.