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The usefulness and applicability of a basic headache diary before first consultation: results of a pilot study conducted in two centres

Authors

  • C Tassorelli,

    Corresponding author
    1. University Centre for the Study of Adaptive Disorders and Headache (UCADH), IRCCS ‘C. Mondino Institute of Neurology’ Foundation, Pavia and
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  • G Sances,

    1. University Centre for the Study of Adaptive Disorders and Headache (UCADH), IRCCS ‘C. Mondino Institute of Neurology’ Foundation, Pavia and
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  • M Allena,

    1. University Centre for the Study of Adaptive Disorders and Headache (UCADH), IRCCS ‘C. Mondino Institute of Neurology’ Foundation, Pavia and
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  • N Ghiotto,

    1. University Centre for the Study of Adaptive Disorders and Headache (UCADH), IRCCS ‘C. Mondino Institute of Neurology’ Foundation, Pavia and
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  • L Bendtsen,

    1. Danish Headache Centre, Department of Neurology, University of Copenhagen, Glostrup Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark
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  • J Olesen,

    1. Danish Headache Centre, Department of Neurology, University of Copenhagen, Glostrup Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark
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  • G Nappi,

    1. University Centre for the Study of Adaptive Disorders and Headache (UCADH), IRCCS ‘C. Mondino Institute of Neurology’ Foundation, Pavia and
    2. Department of Clinical Neurology and Otorhinolaryngology, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, Rome, Italy, and
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  • R Jensen

    1. Danish Headache Centre, Department of Neurology, University of Copenhagen, Glostrup Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark
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Dr Cristina Tassorelli, IRCCS Neurological Institute C. Mondino Foundation—Headache Centre, Via Mondino 2, Pavia 27100, Italy. Tel. + 39 382 38 0425, fax + 39 382 38 0448, e-mail cristina.tassorelli@mondino.it

Abstract

We tested the usefulness and applicability of a simplified headache diary in the diagnosis of migraine (M), tension-type headache (TTH) and medication overuse headache (MOH). The diary was given to headache patients before their first consultation at the headache centre. Seventy-six naive headache patients completed the study. Their understanding of the diary proved highly satisfactory. The patients’ level of compliance was also good, with 71% returning the diary completely filled in. The data entered in the diary were deemed complete for the diagnostic purpose in 93% of cases. The level of agreement between headache information gathered through clinical interview and the headache diary was satisfactory. When comparing the diary with the clinical interview, sensitivity was 92% for M, 75% for TTH and MOH. Specificity was 58% for M and TTH, 87% for MOH. Combined use of a diagnostic diary and clinical interview is recommended from the first consultation for headache.

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