• headache;
  • migraine;
  • epidemiology

Purpose.—The demographics of patients who attend public awareness seminars relating to headache have not been studied. In order to improve the presentations at these meetings, it was felt that the meeting planners should know as much as possible about the audience.

Methods.—Attendees at a public awareness seminar entitled Help for Headaches were asked to respond to a series of questions using an audience response system.

Results.—The majority of the 212 responders were women (90%) and were over the age of 50 (53%). Most felt that they had more than one type of headache (64%), were treated by a family practitioner or internist (58%), and had been denied important diagnostic or therapeutic modalities (42%). The majority were dissatisfied with current treatment (87%) and attended the meeting to find out more about new treatments (64%). Fifty-eight percent felt their physicians did not know enough about headaches. Forty-nine percent felt they had rebound headaches.

Conclusions.—Public awareness seminars for headache should be designed with the realization that most attendees will be women who have more than one type of headache. The majority will be interested in new and alternative therapies, and approximately half will have rebound headaches.