The features and burden of headaches within a chiropractic clinical population: A cross-sectional analysis.

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Journal Article
Complementary therapies in medicine, 2020, 48
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OBJECTIVES:The aim of this study is to a) investigate the headache features and level of headache severity, chronicity, and disability found within a chiropractic patient population and b) to ascertain if patient satisfaction with headache management by chiropractors is associated with headache group or reason for consulting a chiropractor. DESIGN AND SETTING:Consecutive adult patients with a chief complaint of headache participated in an online cross-sectional survey (n = 224). Recruitment was via a randomly selected sample of Australian chiropractors (n = 70). Headache features were assessed using International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria and level of headache disability measured using the Headache Impact Test instrument. RESULTS:One in four participants (n = 57; 25.4%) experienced chronic headaches and 42.0% (n = 88) experienced severe headache pain. In terms of headache features, 20.5% (n = 46) and 16.5% (n = 37) of participants had discrete features of migraine and tension-type headache, respectively, while 33.0% (n = 74) had features of more than one headache type. 'Severe' levels of headache impact were most often reported in those with features of mixed headache (n = 47; 65.3%) and migraine (n = 29; 61.7%). Patients who were satisfied or very satisfied with headache management by a chiropractor were those who were seeking help with headache-related stress or to be more in control of their headaches. CONCLUSION:Many with headache who consult chiropractors have features of recurrent headaches and experience increased levels of headache disability. These findings may be important to other headache-related healthcare providers and policymakers in their endeavours to provide coordinated, safe and effective care for those with headaches.
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