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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Clinical Sciences : Pain Management

Postgraduate Course: Headache Disorders: Diagnosis, Classification and Clinical Features (PAMA11079)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Clinical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryHeadache disorders are the most prevalent of the neurological conditions and among the most frequent of medical complaints seen in general practice. This course provides the student with the opportunity to examine and evaluate the diagnostic tools and approaches available to headache medicine. By the end of the course the student will be better able to:

Understand the difference between broad categories of headache types, such as episodic and chronic, and primary and secondary headaches
Interact with patients to discuss clearly and concisely the clinical features of commonly presented headache subtypes including, episodic tension type headaches, episodic migraine, chronic migraine, medication overuse headache and cluster headaches.
Use simple diagnostic tools to identify different headache subtypes and also to assess the impact of headache on patients┬┐ lives
Discuss with patients the need for referral if sinister headaches are identified
Recognise that headache symptoms and headache classification can change with time and should be monitored
Course description An understanding of the clinical features of primary and secondary headache disorders is essential if a management plan for patients is to be established. With this in mind, the ability to quickly recognise the characteristics of commonly presented headaches will allow successful interaction with patients in order to provide them with the most appropriate treatment. The course focuses on the following:

1. Primary and secondary conditions
2. Episodic, intermediate and chronic headache
3. Identifying warning signs of secondary headaches
4. Classification according to the ICHD-III
5. The clinical features, diagnostic criteria, and differential diagnosis of the episodic forms of
6. Tension-type headache, migraine, trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias and medication overuse headache
7. The spectrum of migraine
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Differentiate between the different categories and associated subtypes of migraine and other headaches based upon the clinical features of individual patients.
  2. Effectively use diagnostic tools in a clinical setting to identify the different headache subtypes.
  3. Assess the impact of headache on patients┬┐ daily lives and activities.
  4. Identify 'red flags' associated with sinister headaches or headaches arising as a secondary condition and discuss with patients the need for referral if sinister headaches are identified.
  5. Employ the use of management techniques such as a headache diary, HIT-6 and MIDAS questionnaire to monitor to evaluate the ongoing treatment needs of a patient, recognise, and recognise that headache symptoms and headache classification can change with time.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Christopher McKenzie
Tel: 0131 242 6130
Course secretaryMs Ewelina Skala
Tel: (0131 5)37 1000
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