Headaches in general practice

Module created July 2018

Headaches are a common presentation in General Practice. The assessment and management of the presentation is often perceived as a difficult consultation.

There are multiple guidelines published on the subject and this module aimed at General Practitioners draws on many of the UK guidelines as source material.

In general the guidelines distinguish the presentation of children under 6, children under 12 and combine adolescents (over 12) with adults.

The lifetime prevalence of headache is 95% or more, mostly benign self-limiting “tension type” headache. Migraine is estimated to affect 14-16% of the UK population. More severe headaches and life threatening conditions causing headache are rare but extremely important to diagnose early. 

This resource is suitable for Primary Care practitioners and was written by Dr Christopher Price, Head of Revalidation Support Unit, HEIW.


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