Epidemiology and Diagnosis of Headache and Facial Pain – University of Copenhagen

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Epidemiology and Diagnosis of Headache Disorders

The content of the course has been chosen and structured to develop your understanding of the epidemiology and global burden of headache as well as diagnosis and clinical features of headache disorders. The course will provide you with an introduction to headache as a collection of complex neurological disorders that impact significantly as a patient and societal burden. Epidemiological studies will be selected for detailed methodological discussions and strengths and limitations will be emphasized.

It will also cover the background for and the organization of the ICHD-3 classification system and its use and applicability in the clinical setting. Headache in children, in the elderly and in relation to hormones and pregnancy will be covered as well as headache in the emergency room and the possible differential diagnosis and comorbidities. The complex headache patient will be discussed especially in relation to the variation of secondary headaches.

Teaching and learning methods

The First four weeks is a part-time online course with online lessons, discussions and quizzes and self-study activities. It will be followed by a week of full-time lectures, discussions, group work, and exercises in Copenhagen.
The teaching methods will include a combination of interactive lectures, group exercises, case studies, journal clubs, essay and computer-based (electronic) learning exercises (WIKIs). Using the KU Canvass platform or similar for upload of learning materials will allow team work for reading, interpreting and discussing selected scientific articles and cases.


The course covers the following topics :

- Epidemiology
- Headache classification.
- Clinical presentation.
- Primary headache types.
- Painful cranial neuropathies.
- Secondary headache types including acute headaches.
- Headache in children, the elderly and pregnant women.
- Differential diagnoses.
- Societal perspectives and social consequences of headache.
- General health implication and prevention of headache disability.

What will you gain?

On completion of the course, the participants should be able to:


  • gain insight into the International Classification of Headache Disorders and acquire detailed knowledge about the clinical presentation of several headache types and painful cranial neuropathies.
  • acquire knowledge about the most commonly occurring comorbid conditions associated with headache disorders and certain patient categories.
  • gain insight into headache epidemiology, the consequences of headache disorders on an individual and societal level, as well as initiatives for prevention.


  • learn to make the optimal headache diagnoses,  to use and analyze a headache diary correctly and to assess relevant differential diagnoses for the individual patient.
  • critically assess and discuss scientific articles about epidemiology and social consequences as well as prevention strategies.


  • have the opportunity to optimise the diagnostic process, contribute to future revision of the classification system on a scientific basis, initiate new epidemiological studies and develop relevant prevention strategies.

Course dates:

E-learning: 8. October - 2. November 2018

On campus: 5. November - 9. November 2018


  • DKK 10,000 for EU/EAA citizens
  • DKK 15,108 for non-EU/EAA citizens

Application deadline for single course students: 8 weeks prior to course start