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Integrating Behavioral Care of Headache Patients
M. Maizels
Posted: July 2006  
Headache Care 2005;2:177-181

An approach for addressing the behavioral needs of headache patients is described and reflects one that the author, both as a headache specialist as well as a primary care physician, has developed after observation of many expert headache clinicians. Behavioral care for headache patients may be incorporated into a traditional medical appointment. The interview becomes a means of not only gathering data but also of starting a therapeutic relationship. Verbal means, or more formal instruments, may identify psychiatric comorbidity, but universal screening is recommended for headache patients in a referral practice. Psychotropics are commonly used and, as such, antidepressant efficacy and headache prevention efficacy should be differentiated. Influencing patient behavior in a therapeutic manner is often the greatest challenge and appropriate communication will encourage and enhance the desired behavior change.