Headache pp 9-13 | Cite as

Approaching the Patient

  • Richard Peatfield
Part of the Clinical Medicine and the Nervous System book series (CLIN.MED.NERV.)


When evaluating a patient complaining of headache the physician should, in essence, be trying to answer two questions:
  1. 1.

    Why has this patient chosen to seek advice now? Is it because the headaches are only of recent origin or because there has been some change in severity, frequency or associated symptoms? Have there been any changes in the patient’s way of life, or psychiatric or hormonal status that have made the headaches become, or perhaps only appear to become, more prominent?

  2. 2.

    Should the physician be offering any specific treatment (medical or surgical) in addition to the general explanation and reassurance the patient has a right to expect?



Cluster Headache Trigeminal Neuralgia Recent Origin Tension Headache Neck Movement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. Blau JN (1982) How to take a history of head or facial pain. Br Med J 285: 1249–1251CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Peatfield
    • 1
  1. 1.General Infirmary at LeedsLeeds 1, West YorkshireUK

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