Aberrant drug-taking behaviors and headache: patient versus physician report

Am J Health Behav. 2006 Sep-Oct;30(5):475-82. doi: 10.5555/ajhb.2006.30.5.475.


Objective: To explore prevalence of aberrant medication-taking behaviors (AMTB) among headache patients and treating physician's awareness of such behaviors.

Methods: Fifty patientphysician dyads were surveyed on patients' AMTB.

Results: The most frequently endorsed behaviors by patients and physicians, respectively, were going to the ER for pain medication (n = 19) and continuing to take pain medication despite minimal relief (n = 23). For the majority of AMTB, phi coefficients indicating level of patient-physician agreement were equal to chance.

Conclusions: Headache patients perform a wide range of AMTB. Low rates of patient-physician agreement indicate that physicians possess limited knowledge of patients' AMTB.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage*
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Communication
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data
  • Drug and Narcotic Control
  • Female
  • Headache Disorders, Primary / drug therapy*
  • Headache Disorders, Primary / psychology
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Medication / statistics & numerical data*


  • Analgesics, Opioid