April 2, 2024

Japanese Patient Advocacy Coalition (JPAC) Works to Minimize Headache Burden in Japan

The Japanese Patient Advocacy Coalition (JPAC) aims to create better headache care and minimize the burden of headache and migraine. Initiated in 2017 by the Japanese Headache Society along with Global Patient Advocacy Coalition (GPAC) and the International Headache Society (IHS), JPAC works to reduce the stigma, drive awareness and improve access through its activities.

Professor Koichi Hirata, Vice President, Dokkyo Medical University, and Ms. Kaori Tabata, Chief Nurse, Tominaga Hospital serve as co-chairs. There are over 980 board-certified headache specialists and more than 3,200 members of JPAC. These include headache specialists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals affiliated with the JHS, as well as patients with migraine and headache.

JPAC has its secretariat in Tokyo, along with members in each region. These include headache centers and tertiary headache treatment facilities in each area of Japan.

Awareness and Advocacy Activities
JPAC builds upon the extensive 50-year history of JHS as it undergoes its awareness and advocacy agenda. The organization participates in multiple activities including its annual Summit, which is held during the JHS Congress. JPAC patient members also attend other events, such as presenting at the GPAC (formerly IHS-GPAC) Summit III 2023 in Seoul.

The group also regularly holds lectures and patient consultation sessions to educate the public about headache disorders. Since 2019, healthcare professionals from JPAC have collaborated as lecturers in the headache nurse training course at Tominaga Hospital, in Osaka, Japan.

Each year, JPAC designates February 22 as “Headache Day” and chooses a theme to promote awareness. In 2022, a lapel pin was created and distributed in green, the symbolic color of headache treatment.

JPAC reports on these pursuits in its newsletter which it publishes about 10 times a year.

Presented by headache patients at the GPAC Summit III, Seoul, 2023

*Consent for publication in e-Introduction was obtained from the patients

Fujitsu Headache Project

JPAC also collaborated with JHS and GPAC (formerly IHS-GPAC) on the Fujitsu Headache Project. The web-based education program taught 73,000 Fujitsu employees about the severity of migraine and headache disorders and increased their understanding of these neurological diseases in the workplace.

Since its launch:

  • 71% of employees understand that headache is a disease compared to 20% before completing the program
  • 76% of employees said that “the way they treat colleagues with headaches is likely to change” after completing the program
  • 90% of employees said the program was beneficial

Future Collaboration
JPAC looks forward to continuing proactive and grassroots efforts to raise headache and migraine awareness among members, healthcare professionals and the general public. They are grateful for the collaboration of GPAC, and look forward to sharing the organization’s message in Japan as well as further expansion of the mission around the world.

February 22, Headache Day: Kumamoto Castle lit up in Green (Kumamoto) 


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