From the Michigan Head Pain & Neurological Institute, Ann Arbor, MI.
“Are You Talking to Me?” Confronting Behavioral Disturbances in Patients With Headache
Article first published online: 6 OCT 2006
Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain
Volume 46, Issue Supplement s3, pages S151–S156, October 2006
How to Cite
Saper, J. R. (2006), “Are You Talking to Me?” Confronting Behavioral Disturbances in Patients With Headache. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 46: S151–S156. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2006.00569.x
- Issue published online: 6 OCT 2006
- Article first published online: 6 OCT 2006
- behavioral disturbances;
- effective communication
The famous question, “Are you talking to me?,” was coined by Robert DeNiro in his lead role as Travis Bickle in the Martin Scorsese classic, Taxi Driver. The phrase also characterizes the troubling encounters that many headache-treating professionals confront as they attempt to discuss serious matters of care and compliance with some of their headache patients. Although most headache patients are eager to take professional advice and guidance, there exists a minority of patients whose behavior undermines a collaborative relationship between doctor and patient. In these cases, the physician may need to directly confront this behavior in order to overcome behavioral barriers that interfere with desirable treatment outcomes. This article offers explicit means and strategies to engage difficult patients, increase the likelihood of program adherence and improvement, and develop a more satisfying doctor-patient relationship, based on clinical experience in a national referral center for difficult-to-manage headache patients.