Headaches are a very common problem seen in chiropractic offices. They can vary from mild and barely noticeable to extreme, so much so that it results in total disability where a sufferer is restricted to bed rest in a dark, quiet room.
One inexpensive, reliable method to track a patient’s progress is a self-administered test called the “Headache Disability Index” (HDI). This is a 25-question form that the headache sufferer completes and a total score is calculated. In the list of 25 questions, there are three choices for scoring: a “YES” response = 4 points, a “SOMETIMES” response = 2 points, and a “NO” response is not worth any points. The highest possible score = 100 (4 points x 25 questions). When patients present for chiropractic treatment, this method of assessment is often utilized and can be very helpful to determine the effectiveness of the care being provided, especially because of the lack of special assessments that exists for most types of headaches. Here is a list of questions that are included in the HDI:
- E1. Because of my headaches I feel handicapped.
- F2. Because of my headaches I feel restricted in performing my routine daily activities.
- E3. No one understands the effect my headaches have on my life.
- F4. I restrict my recreational activities (e.g. sports, hobbies) because of my headaches.
- E5. My headaches make me angry.
- E6. Sometimes I feel that I am going to lose control because of my headaches.
- F7. Because of my headaches I am less likely to socialize.
- E8. My spouse (significant other), or family and friends have no idea what I am going through because of my headaches.
- E9. My headaches are so bad that I feel I am going to go insane.
- E10. My outlook on the world is affected by my headaches.
- E11. I am afraid to go outside when I feel that a headache is starting.
- E12. I feel desperate because of my headaches.
- F13. I am concerned that I am paying penalties at work or at home because of my headaches.
- E14. My headaches place stress on my relationships with family or friends.
- F15. I avoid being around people when I have a headache.
- F16. I believe my headaches are making it difficult for me to achieve my goals in life.
- F17. I am unable to think clearly because of my headaches.
- F18. I get tense (e.g. muscle tension) because of my headaches.
- F19. I do not enjoy social gatherings because of my headaches.
- E20. I feel irritable because of my headaches.
- F21. I avoid traveling because of my headaches.
- E22. My headaches make me feel confused.
- E23. My headaches make me feel frustrated.
- F24. I find it difficult to read because of my headaches.
- F25. I find it difficult to focus my attention away from my headaches and on other things.
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