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Headache. 1995 Mar;35(3):131-7.

Quantification of headache disability: a diagnostic-based approach.

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Headache Center, Neurological Institute C. Mondino, University of Pavia, Italy.


The quantification of the social and economic handicaps caused by headache is a complex problem, especially given the great variability of headache patients' clinical pictures. In the present study, 400 patients, consecutively admitted to Headache Centers in Pavia and Milan, were interviewed on the relationship between headache and their work and social activities, in order to evaluate their socioeconomic handicap due to headache. The analysis of the data primarily focused on attack-type headaches (migraine, cluster headache, and episodic tension-type headache) and chronic or daily headaches (chronic tension-type headache and migraine combined with tension-type headache). These latter types were often characterized by the daily use or abuse of analgesics. The overall profile which emerged from the study reveals relatively low levels of handicap or disability in work and social activities. These low levels can be mainly attributed to timely, and at times excessive, use of analgesics.

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