Socio-economic aspects of headache in the elderly
Keywords:Epidemiology, Aging, Headache, Socioeconomic factors
Introduction: Among the health impairments of the elderly, headache is the main complaint for seeking medical help, and its quality depends on social conditions. Objective: To delineate the socioeconomic scenario of headache in elderly, through a critical review. Method: We carried out a critical review of articles published between 2000 and 2013, independently of idiom, with full text available on PubMed, Scopus, EBSCO Information Services, Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) and Latin American Literature and Caribbean Health Sciences (LILACS) databases. These articles should have socioeconomic aspects of patients with headache
as theme, investigated in population-based or multicenter studies. Results: We localized 59 articles, among which 40 were excluded by title and abstract and 12 because they did not detail socioeconomic analysis of patients with headache. Seven articles were included in the review. With them it is identified that the lower economic status impede access of elderly to specialized health services in the diagnosis and treatment of headache, either by spontaneous search or through referral. Final considerations: The hindering factors for the access of elderly to diagnosis and appropriate treatment of headache were their low socioeconomic status and the lack of specific training of health professionals. The inclusion of headache of elderly in initial and continuing medical education is necessary and particularly important due to population aging.
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