Headache: An Epidemiological Survey in a Dutch Rural General Practice




An epidemiologic study of headache in a rural general practice was carried out by delivering questionnaires to the houses of the target population and collecting them personally in two weeks. All persons between 16 and 65 years of age, 2,450 in all, were asked to participate in the survey; there was a response of 92%.

Headache has been an underrated problem in Holland. The impact of headache on an individual patient can be assessed by the duration of the headache, the severity of the headache, and the extent to which usual daily work is interfered with. In this survey, 12% of the persons questioned had a headache at least once a week and in 4% the headache lasted longer than a day. However, only 15% of the people with headache visited a G.P. and less than 1% had specialist treatment. Women were more likely to seek medical assistance than men.