Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)

Degree Program

Health Professions

First Advisor

Heather Chappell DNP, FNP-BC

Second Advisor

Karen Burritt PhD, RN, FNP-BC

Academic Year



Background and Objectives:

Headache disability is a public health crisis. Further, headaches are the fourth leading cause of emergency department visits in the United States costing headache patients over $10,000 annually versus non-headache peers. Standardized educational interventions and quality headache management have the potential to mitigate healthcare costs.


A quality improvement project was implemented to determine if standardized headache educational materials improve patient education and symptom management for headache patients at a large specialty clinic in the Midwest. The educational intervention was a headache diary and a website link for further headache education. A sample of 50 patients and 4 providers were surveyed using a Likert similar rating scale. Demographic statistics were calculated.


Sixty-six percent of patients reported they did not use a headache diary and 32% of patients desired more education. Further, patients using a headache diary reported lower satisfaction rates with education both overall (4.38) and headache specific (4.31) versus patients who do not use a headache diary who reported higher overall (4.45) and headache specific (4.37) satisfaction rates.


Patients rated providers highly in terms of overall education and headache specific education. However, one-third of patients requested additional education and two-thirds of patients did not use a headache diary despite 100% of providers reporting headache diaries are an important tool for headache management.