Table 1

Interview topics and probes

QuestionProbe
Currently in your practice, how do you manage patients who present with headache?Do you feel confident managing and diagnosing headache in general practice?
In what circumstances might you ask for a scan?In your experience, how does the outcome of the scan affect patients’ anxiety?
How do you involve a headache patient in the decision-making process?What do you think is the impact of this?
What changes have you observed in the management of headaches in general practice?How do you feel about the pace at which change has taken place?
How confident do you feel about diagnosis, management and when to request a scan?When using open access, how would you explain results to patients?
What impact do you think MRI direct access might have/has had on the number of people asking for them?How about referrals to a neurologist?
How do you manage complex diagnosis and decision making and shared management given the time constraints on consultations?What about communication and trust?
How confident do you feel when evaluating risks/benefits of different treatment options and outcomes?What difficulties do you have in resolving the patient’s sense of anxiety and uncertainty?
To what extent does the management of patients with headache include a psychological approach? What training do you have in psychology/psychiatry?How does mental health fit into general practice? What is your approach to health anxiety?
Can you tell me about any headache patients who were treatment resistant or difficult to manage?How much do you think this (heartsink) has affected your approach (to headache) over time?