The usefulness and applicability of a basic headache diary before first consultation: results of a pilot study conducted in two centres

Cephalalgia. 2008 Oct;28(10):1023-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2008.01639.x. Epub 2008 Jul 8.


We tested the usefulness and applicability of a simplified headache diary in the diagnosis of migraine (M), tension-type headache (TTH) and medication overuse headache (MOH). The diary was given to headache patients before their first consultation at the headache centre. Seventy-six naive headache patients completed the study. Their understanding of the diary proved highly satisfactory. The patients' level of compliance was also good, with 71% returning the diary completely filled in. The data entered in the diary were deemed complete for the diagnostic purpose in 93% of cases. The level of agreement between headache information gathered through clinical interview and the headache diary was satisfactory. When comparing the diary with the clinical interview, sensitivity was 92% for M, 75% for TTH and MOH. Specificity was 58% for M and TTH, 87% for MOH. Combined use of a diagnostic diary and clinical interview is recommended from the first consultation for headache.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Records*
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pilot Projects
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Tension-Type Headache / diagnosis*
  • Young Adult