Aim: To describe the occurrence of headache in general practice, the diagnoses made in general practice, and the management.
Results: In 634 episodes, headache was a reason for encounter. The incidence of headache presented to the general practitioner was 40.2 per 1000 person years. More than half of the episodes were related to an infectious disease, among which upper respiratory tract infections predominated. The incidence increased with age and was higher in girls than in boys. Medication was prescribed in 27% of all episodes of idiopathic headache. In the absence of an infectious disease, many headache episodes were associated with psychosocial problems. Family problems and school problems were mentioned most often.
Conclusion: Headache in children as reason for encounter is a common problem in general practice, often associated with an infectious disease. When confronted with a child with idiopathic headache, the general practitioner should be aware of a possible psychosocial component.