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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Daniel B. Hier, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: The editors have assembled contributions of more than 100 experts on headache to address problems related to the epidemiology, economic burden, and human toll of headache.
Purpose: The editors have sought to comprehensively review the current state of knowledge and to measure the effect of headache on the quality of life of headache patients. In addition, the editors have selected papers that assess how headache patients use healthcare facilities and the economic costs of headache (both direct due to cost of treatment and indirect due to lost productivity).
Audience: The book is aimed at physicians who treat headaches — although the approach of the book is best described as epidemiological or sociological. The book does not offer advice on the treatment of headache, but rather is a study of the economic and quality of life consequences of headache. Neurologists, epidemiologists, internists, and other physicians and investigators interested in headache will find this book useful.
Features: The book consists of 68 contributions by more than 100 authors. Most of the contributions are quite brief, usually 2-4 pages in length — longer than an abstract but shorter than a full-length journal paper. Topics are categorized into six major sections including economics of headache, patient-centered measures, management guidelines, and improving healthcare systems for headache patients.
Assessment: This is a useful and unique book that brings together information about the measurement of the quality of life and economic burden of headache that is hard to find elsewhere. The authors are truly international in scope. Although the affiliations of the authors are listed at the beginning of the book, it would have been useful to have this information repeated at the beginning of each contribution, since some of the opinions are location-specific. The book is somewhat marred by the failure of authors to specify the funding source for their studies, thus limiting the usefulness of some of the treatment comparisons.