Multidisciplinary headache clinic-A new model for headache care

      Headache is one of the commonest disorders seen in primary health care. They are highly burdensome, often sub-optimally managed and the patient satisfaction level is often poor. A major reason for this is the very large number of patients affected by these disorders. The specialist set ups are not adequately equipped to cater to these large numbers. A number of health care models have been proposed and implemented to improve the access of the large number of headache patients to specialist care.
      One such model was adopted by two Primary health clinics in Dubai, Barsha and Nad Al-Hamar. In this model, there is a once weekly headache clinic run by specialist neurologist that was opened up in each of these sites. Referrals to this clinic are from the general physicians at the respective PHCs or from other PHCs. Some of the patients seen by neurologist in the clinic are then followed up in the Telemedicine clinic, where the patient presents to the family physician in PHC and via video conference has consultation with the neurologist present in Rashid hospital. The patients are also offered a consultation with a psychologist if there is a need felt.
      We describe our experience with this multi-disciplinary clinic and the outcomes in terms of patient satisfaction and improvement in headache, using the HURT questionnaire, which is validated in Arabic language for use in PHCs.