Helping Educators Address the Development of Appropriate Curriculum For Headache Education
More than 45 million Americans suffer from chronic, recurrent headache. Of this number, 28 million Americans have migraine. Headache is one of the 20 most common diagnoses seen in primary care physician offices. Nevertheless, the average medical school devotes less than 4 hours of curriculum time to headache, primarily targeted to learning about catastrophic but uncommon causes of headache. The national Helping Educators Address the Development of Appropriate Curriculum in Headache Education (HEADACHE) Project was initiated in Spring 2003 to support the development of educationally sound curricula to enhance the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of medical students in the assessment, treatment, and support of headache patients.
Phase I of the HEADACHE Project (2003) involved the selection of demonstration schools to develop, implement, and evaluate educational projects related to headache. Grants ($15,000 each) were awarded to Case Western Reserve University; University of Virginia; University of Oklahoma-Tulsa; and University of Southern California. Phase II of the HEADACHE Project (2004-2005) involved implementation and evaluation of educational projects related to headache in the four demonstration schools.
The HEADACHE Project has resulted in a variety of models and methods for instruction on the topic of headache in medical education. The four demonstration schools have developed projects which impact the four-year continuum of medical education. Curriculum hours devoted to the topic of headache were increased by at least 13.5 hours across the schools (some schools have additional optional on-line activities).
The HEADACHE Project achieved the goals of planning, developing, and implementing innovative approaches to teaching medical students how to assess and manage patients with headache.
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The HEADACHE Project is sponsored by the National Headache Foundation in cooperation with the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine and is funded through an unrestricted educational grant to the NHF from GlaxoSmithKline.
Robert Baldor, MD (University of Massachusetts; Worcester, MA), Katie Margo, MD (University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, PA), Alkesh Patel, MD (University Care at Shipley’s Choice; Millersville, MD), Anne Walling, MD (University of Kansas-Wichita; Wichita, KS) and Ardis Davis, MSW (HEADACHE Project Manager; AKD Consulting; Mukilteo, WA)