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Article |

Computer-Assisted Interview of Patients With Functional Headache

William W. Stead; Albert Heyman, MD; Howard K. Thompson, MD; William E. Hammond, PhD
Arch Intern Med. 1972;129(6):950-955. doi:10.1001/archinte.1972.00320060098012.
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A computer-based, self-administered, interactive questionnaire has been designed for interview and diagnosis of patients with functional headaches. Patients respond on a simple keyboard to a sequence of questions on a cathode-ray oscilloscope. The system selects pertinent questions depending on the patient's individual responses. The questionnaire included clinical symptoms, neurological manifestations, prior treatment, emotional factors, and personality problems. Upon completion, a computer-generated printed summary is presented for the clinical record. The system utilizes the acquired data to differentiate between common, classical, and cluster migraine, muscle contraction, and other types of headache. Computer diagnoses agreed with those of the physician in 36 of 50 patients. The automated interview saves physician's time, offers a data base for research, and provides a diagnostic aid for patients with functional headaches.


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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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