There is a Strong Unmet Need for Improved Headache Education among Primary Care Physicians: Results from a Primary Care Needs Assessment
Authors: Kern, R.; Shapero, G.; Boudreau, G.; Squire, P.; Dawes, J.
Source: Headache Care, Volume 2, Number 1, March 2004 , pp. 47-50(4)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Abstract:Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the current status of headache knowledge and the future information needs of primary care physicians (PCPs) in headache management.
Methods: Structured telephone interviews were conducted with a representative sample of 650 PCPs from 6 countries.
Results: Over 40% of PCPs rated their headache knowledge as average or below average in all 11 categories measured. The level of knowledge was highest in those categories related to the day-to-day management of the condition, including diagnosis (48% rated above average or excellent knowledge), acute treatments (53%), triggers (57%) and quality of life impact (58%). Headache knowledge was lowest in categories related to wider aspects of the disease area, including emerging therapies (86% rated poor or below average knowledge), International Headache Society criteria (82%), epidemiology (75%) and comorbidity (72%). PCPs stated that they used a broader range of information sources for general medical information compared with headache-specific information during the 12 months prior to interview (average number of sources: 8.69 vs. 6.25, respectively). In the 12 months prior to interview, 28% of PCPs had not participated in any headache-related continuing medical education (CME) (compared with 3% who had not participated in any general CME). For the management of migraine, 80% of PCPs stated that they always (28%) or often (52%) use simple analgesics and 58% always (9%) or often (49%) use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Conclusions: The level of headache-related knowledge among PCPs is generally poor, particularly with respect to the general disease area. Use of headache-specific information sources is limited compared with that for general medicine. There appears to be a need among PCPs for simple educational tools focusing on screening, diagnosing and treatment strategies for headache patients.
Document Type: Short Communication
Publication date: March 1, 2004