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What to Expect | Overview

Here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your child’s first visit in the Chronic Headache Program in Pain Medicine.

How can I prepare before my child’s evaluation?

  • When you first contact us, we will email you a link to complete a detailed survey about your child’s history (WeCOPE Pre-Evaluation Survey) before we schedule your appointment.
  • About one week before your child’s scheduled evaluation, you’ll receive another link to a second, different survey (WeCOPE Psychology Survey).
  • Your child should complete most of both surveys on their own if possible. There are several questions specifically for caregivers at the end of the second survey. All surveys must be completed at least 24 hours before your child’s appointment or we may need to reschedule.
  • Please ask your child’s other providers to fax us any relevant records before their evaluation (such as imaging results, lab reports, physical therapy records, and school accommodation plans) at 781-216-2540.

What should I expect during my child’s first visit?

  • An evaluation typically takes at least four hours, so we recommend bringing water, snacks, and something to entertain you during the breaks between visits.
  • If your child is under 18, you or another caregiver or legal guardian must be present for the entire visit.
  • Please allow for traffic and parking. We recommend arriving 15 minutes early so you have plenty of time to check in.
  • If you check in at the lobby kiosks, be sure to also let our front desk that you are physically present in our clinic.
  • Make note of our policy for missed or late appointments, out of courtesy to all patients and families:
    • If you are more than 15 minutes late, we may need to reschedule your visit.
    • If you need to reschedule, please let us know at least 48 hours in advance.
    • If you cancel your appointment more than three times — or miss your appointment twice — we may not be able to reschedule.

What will the appointment be like?

  • First, you’ll meet with the neurologist to review your child’s history and better understand their headaches.
  • After a small break for the team to share information, you and your child will each meet with the pain psychologist, typically one-on-one. The psychologist may also wish to meet with you and your child together.
  • Then, you and your child will have another small break, as the team meets to determine the best next steps for your child’s care.
  • Finally, you and your child will meet with the nurse practitioner, who will review the treatment plan with you and answer any questions you or your child may have.
  • This part of visit is most often in person in the clinic. However, on occasion, this visit may take place via Zoom or phone on the same day or next day.
  • At the end of your visit, you will receive a detailed visit summary and a packet of educational resources, paper prescriptions, and letters or forms you may need. These documents can also be sent to you via the MyChildren’s Patient Portal. Most prescriptions are sent electronically to your preferred pharmacy.

What happens after my child’s first appointment?

  • In most cases, we recommend a follow-up visit with our nurse practitioners, in person or virtually, about three to four months after your child’s first evaluation with us.
  • If you have questions in the meantime, you can reach out to our team via the MyChildren’s Patient Portal or by leaving a message at 781-216-1960. 
  • If you choose to contact us by phone, you will ALWAYS need to leave a message — you will not directly connect with a provider at that time. Rest assured, we monitor our voice messages often and do our best to return calls within 48 hours.
  • If you are requesting that we write a letter or complete a form for your child, please contact us well in advance of any deadlines so we can do our best to meet your need.

Clinical research opportunities

  • We’re working hard to find the most effective methods for treating children with headaches.
  • Many of our providers are involved in research that will help us to understand more about chronic headaches in children and adolescents.
  • If you and your child are eligible, we may contact you after your visit to tell you more about our current projects.
  • Participation in research is always voluntary and will in no way impact your care with us.