Guidelines for the organization of headache education in Europe: the headache school

European Headache Federation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

According to its mission statement, one of the goals of the European Headache Federation (EHF) is to "educate Europe" about headache through the teaching of the key health personnel, such as young physicians and all those involved in headache management, about the seriousness of headache disorders. The countries of Europe share a close geographical proximity that facilitates international exchanges, particularly between university faculties. In recent years, this has, indeed, been the working basis of European educational endeavours in the field of headache. For a number of years, annual summer schools were organized in different European countries and a permanent Summer Headache School was set up in Cambridge (to be held every alternate year). The last summer headache school was held in Vilnius in 2002. In the past decade, a patronage scheme was also set up, which, combining two or more countries (one developed, one or more developing), allowed international exchanges of doctors and students for training purposes. In some centres, participants were also able to gain clinical practice and research experience by staying at the host institutions for extended periods of time. As a result of all this activity there have emerged, in Europe, "clusters" of people with a particular interest in headache. However, the rapid growth of insight into headache (new molecules, new headache categories, etc.) has contributed to a widening of the scientific gap between developing and developed countries. Moreover, in the past four years, due to the relative restriction of national/international drug company budgets, it has proved possible to organize only relatively inexpensive teaching courses. As a result, countries whose medical communities had been developing a "headache culture" now find themselves destined to be increasingly held back. Therefore, the EHF, in order to promote education on headache in Europe at national level, felt there was a need for guidelines for the organization of educational courses that meet uniform standards of excellence and in terms of code of conduct: guaranteed courses that will attract investors and those seeking to increase their knowledge, skills and understanding in the area of primary and secondary headache. The guidelines, presented here, specify the ideal length of a headache course, the number of lectures it should include, as well as the ideal number of participants and teachers. A sample course outline is provided, together with a checklist to help the organizers to meet the criteria for an EHF-approved headache school.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-93
Number of pages5
JournalFunctional neurology
Volume20
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2005

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