Quality in the provision of headache care. 2: defining quality and its indicators
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionThe Journal of Headache and Pain. 2012, 13 (6), 449-457. 10.1007/s10194-012-0465-2
The objective of this study was to define “quality” of headache care, and develop indicators that are applicable in different settings and cultures and to all types of headache. No definition of quality of headache care has been formulated. Two sets of quality indicators, proposed in the US and UK, are limited to their localities and/or specific to migraine and their development received no input from people with headache. We first undertook a literature review. Then we conducted a series of focus-group consultations with key stakeholders (doctors, nurses and patients) in headache care. From the findings we proposed a large number of putative quality indicators, and refined these and reduced their number in consultations with larger international groups of stakeholder representatives. We formulated a definition of quality from the quality indicators. Five main themes were identified: (1) headache services; (2) health professionals; (3) patients; (4) financial resources; (5) political agenda and legislation. An initial list of 160 putative quality indicators in 14 domains was reduced to 30 indicators in 9 domains. These gave rise to the following multidimensional definition of quality of headache care: “Good-quality headache care achieves accurate diagnosis and individualized management, has appropriate referral pathways, educates patients about their headaches and their management, is convenient and comfortable, satisfies patients, is efficient and equitable, assesses outcomes and is safe.” Quality in headache care is multidimensional and resides in nine essential domains that are of equal importance. The indicators are currently being tested for feasibility of use in clinical settings.