Prognostic factors, disability, and functional status among patients in a headache specialty practice.
The objective of this study was to identify prognostic factors and assess functional status over time among patients in a headache specialty practice. Study questionnaires were mailed to 599 patients who previously presented to a headache specialty practice. Outcome measures included headache frequency, the Headache Impact Test (HIT) and the SF-36 Health Survey. Completed surveys were received from 333 respondents (56%). Thirty-five respondents (11%) had HIT scores in the 'little or no impact' range at follow-up and 191 (57%) had HIT scores in the 'severe impact' range. A diagnosis of migraine at baseline was an independent predictor of elevated HIT scores at follow-up, but gender, age, age at headache onset, daily headache at baseline, and time to follow-up did not predict poor prognosis. A subset of headache patients continue to experience marked disability and impaired functional status, months to years after presenting for headache specialty care. A diagnosis of migraine at the time of presentation may predict prognosis, but additional cohort studies with careful attention to baseline variables are needed to help identify other prognostic factors.
Coeytaux, RR; Spierings, EL
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