Societal Impact of Headache : Burden, Costs and Response

Timothy J. Steiner, Lars Jacob Stovner

This volume describes the impact of headache disorders on public health, and their adverse consequences for society. It opens with an overview of relevant headache disorders before describing, qualitatively, how the burdens attributable to these disorders fall upon adults, adolescents and children. In the second section, beginning with a methodological introduction discussing the principles and potential pitfalls of epidemiological studies assessing prevalence, headache-attributed burden and functional impact, the burdens of headache including financial cost are examined quantitatively and in detail. The third section critically reviews society’s response, its inadequacies and the scope for improvement. Topics here include the political failure to recognize the public ill-health and cost that are the consequences of inadequate headache care; the role of the WHO in addressing the problem; headache service organization, delivery and quality; and the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions. The book closes by considering the way forward. This volume contains important messages for primary care and is likely to be of even greater interest to headache specialists and those concerned with public health and health policy.

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