Socio-economic impact of headache disorders –reasons and improvement possibilities

Authors: P. Řehulka 1;  M. Vrubel 2;  T. Nežádal- 3 5;  M. Brázdil 1
Authors‘ workplace: I. neurologická klinika, LF MU a FN u sv. Anny v Brně 1;  Institut výzkumu inkluzivního vzdělávání, PdF MU, Brno 2;  Neurologické oddělení, ÚVN – VFN, Praha 3;  Institut neuropsychiatrické péče, Praha 4;  Neurochirurgická a neuroonkologická, klinika 1. LF UK a ÚVN – VFN, Praha 5
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2020; 83/116(5): 499-503
Category: Review Article
doi: 10.14735/amcsnn2020499


Headache disorders are ubiquitous and mainly those that are primary are highly prevalent. Some of those are associated with substantial disability and cause significant negative impact on both individual and societal levels. Migraine, tension-type headache and medication-overuse headache overwhelm all others in the economic burden. Despite easy diagnostics and availability of effective treatments, headache disorders remain underdiagnosed and undertreated due to substantial barriers (political, economic, social and clinical). The indirect financial costs through lost productivity are far greater than the healthcare expenditure, which probably does not exceed 10% of total costs of headache disorders. From a global point of view, a possible healthcare improvement seems to be cost-effective and costsaving. Improvement of management issues and organization of headache services requires the existence of a structured and stepwise action programme. All essential components of effective healthcare for headache (awareness of the problem, correct recognition and diagnosis, avoidance of mismanagement, appropriate lifestyle modifications and informed use of suitable pharmaceutical remedies) is possible to put in practice already at the level of primary or secondary care. The main efforts should be directed at elaboration of pre- and post-graduate education of physicians and other healthcare providers.


Migraine – headache – disability evaluation – economic burden of disease


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