Last updated on February 2018

Direct Access to MRI and Neurology Referrals for the Management of Patients With Chronic Headache.


Brief description of study

This study aims to evaluate whether direct access from General Practitioners (GPs) to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for patients with chronic headache decreases overall NHS costs and increases patient satisfaction compared to clinical practice with referral to Neurology Services.

Detailed Study Description

Headache is the most common symptom reported in the community, affecting more than 90% of the population at some point in their lifetime. Despite the low level of referrals to secondary care (as most patients tend to be managed within primary care), the absolute number of headache episodes (due to its high prevalence) makes headache the most frequently listed reason for referral to the Neurologist and thus, utilises precious capacity that is severely constrained.

In order to support future management of this chronic condition, this study aims to evaluate existing clinical pathways in the management of patients with chronic headache - either referral to the Neurology Department or direct access to Imaging. Participants will be followed-up for a period of 12 months after the initial Secondary Care episode (either an MRI scan or Neurology appointment). Costs from the NHS perspective and self-perceived patient quality of life will be assessed and cost per patient and cost-effectiveness analyses will be performed.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02753933

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