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Table 4 Diagnostic questions to ask in the history

From: Aids to management of headache disorders in primary care (2nd edition)

How many different headaches types does the patient have? A separate history is needed for each.
Time questions • Why consulting now?
• How recent in onset?
• How frequent, and what temporal pattern (episodic or daily and/or unremitting)?
• How long do headache episodes last?
Character questions • Manner and speed of headache onset (abrupt, progressive over minutes, hours, days or longer)?
• Intensity of pain?
• Nature and quality of pain?
• Site and spread of pain?
• Associated symptoms?
Cause questions • Predisposing and/or trigger factors?
• Aggravating and/or relieving factors?
• Family history of similar headache?
Response questions • What does the patient do during the headache?
• How much is activity limited or prevented?
• What medications are used, and how frequently?
State of health between attacks • Completely well, or residual symptoms?