Outcome evaluation

• At baseline, quantify the patient's pain using a visual analogue scale, assess range of motion of affected joints, and identify activities of daily living that are impaired.

• In patients treated with acetaminophen or oral NSAIDs, assess pain control after 2 to 3 weeks. It may take longer for the full anti-inflammatory effect of NSAIDs to occur.

• Incorporate other measures to track disease progress. Use radiography to assess severity of joint destruction, determine 50-ft walking time and grip strength, and administer the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire, where appropriate, to assess activities of daily living.

• Ask patients if they are experiencing side effects or other problems with their medications and follow-up with more specific questions.

• In patients taking oral NSAIDs, monitor for increases in blood pressure, weight gain, edema, skin rash, and CNS adverse effects such as headaches and drowsiness.

The Prevention and Treatment of Headaches

The Prevention and Treatment of Headaches

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