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Headache Impact Test gives you info to help your doc help you  
       
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As "headachers," we're always looking for ways to better communicate with our doctors — to explain how bad the pain is ... how it affects our work ... how it affects our family and social relationships. In short, we're always trying to describe the impact of our headaches/migraines so our doctors can do their best to help us. 

Now, there's a new tool available designed to do just that — measure the impact of headache/migraine and put the information into a format that is readily usable by our doctors. The Headache Impact Test™ (HIT) is available online at www.headachetest.com or in a paper format now in use in many physicians' offices. The simple, six-question test takes only a few minutes to complete and the Internet version formulates a personalized headache profile based on comparison of the user’s responses and pooled data from other sufferers. The Internet version also produces a report that can be printed and taken to your doctor. An interpretation of the score and suggested action steps for initiating a dialogue with a health care provider are provided for both versions.

Lawrence Newman, M.D., director of the Headache Institute at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, commented, "Headache sufferers, particularly those with migraine, often have a difficult time communicating the severity of their pain and the disability their headaches cause ... HIT provides patients with a tool they can use to capture the degree of pain and disruption in their daily life and use it to initiate a conversation about headache with their doctor."

The HIT was developed by by QualityMetric, Inc. in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline. The site has been inspected by the Good Housekeeping Institute and received the Good Housekeeping Web Site Certification.

The developers comment, "HIT is designed to improve communication between patients and health care providers about headaches by providing a way to standardize the information health care providers obtain from patients. While HIT is not a diagnostic tool nor is it intended to replace physician consultation, it allows patients and health care providers to work together to quantify and discuss the impact of headache on that person’s life and then determine what treatment plan is most appropriate."

The HIT and results of a study of it were at the International Headache Congress in New York City in July, 2001. According to the study, 80% of patients who have taken the HIT, have or plan to see a doctor to talk about their headache, with nearly half making the appointment to specifically discuss their headaches. During an appointment with their doctor, 85% reported feeling better equipped to communicate the impact their headaches were having on their life. 

Also at the International Headache Congress, Merle Diamond of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago commented, “Patients taking the Headache Impact Test are learning that according to their answers, their headaches may in fact be migraines. It is not surprising to see further confirmation that migraine impacts lives, particularly in comparison to other headache types. HIT is a valuable tool which allows patients to measure and communicate their degree of disability to doctors.” 

Click HERE to see a sample
of the Headache Impact Test


         

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