Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Headaches are one of the most common neurological symptoms. They adversely affect daily life, reduces the workforce, and have high health costs. Managing this symptom in primary care will free up secondary and tertiary health services to better treat patients who need follow-up by specialists. In the present study, we aim to show the rate at which this problem can be solved in primary care for patients who applied tertiary care services with a headache for the first time. Materials and methods: Our research is a cross-sectional study of 207 patients who applied to the neurology clinics for the first time with headache. Two questionnaires were prepared by the researchers. IBM SPSS v: 21.0 was used for statistical analysis, and the level of significance was p < 0.05. Results: The opinions of the patients on the evaluability of headache in primary care were compared. Family physicians and neurologists gave similar responses about the disease management, at a rate of 96.6%, this was found to be statistically significant and shows strong agreement. Both groups of physicians thought that 70% of patients, on average, who applied to the neurology clinics with headache for the first time could be managed in primary care. However, only 9.2% of the patients share this opinion with physicians. Primary headache cases constitute most of the cases that are thought to be solved in primary care. It was revealed that the number of patients seeking primary care with this complaint was lower than expected. Conclusion: Patients with headache applied tertiary care instead of primary care for different reasons. Both neurologists and family physicians stated that most patients evaluated in tertiary care could be managed in primary care.


Primary care, headache, family physician

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