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Headache is often over-investigated and overtreated, US study shows

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 09 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h113
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Opioids, barbiturates, and advanced imaging have been persistently overused to manage headache, says a US study of primary care and hospital outpatient consultations for headache from 1999 to 2010, while counselling of patients on lifestyle factors decreased.

Researchers studied 9362 consultations for headache over that time period from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey,1 which collect nationally representative data on patient visits to non-federal office based practices and hospital outpatient departments. The …

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