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Behavioral management of recurrent headache: three decades of experience and empiricism.

15 Aug

Behavioral management of recurrent headache: three decades of experience and empiricism.

This fresh review and meta-analysis of the research literature on behavioral interventions for headache (chiefly relaxation, biofeedback, and stress-management) out of the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Head Pain Center show clinically significant reductions in recurrent headache. In fact, across studies, behavioral interventions have yielded approximately 35-50% reduction in migraine and tension-type headache activity. In addition, the available evidence suggests that the level of headache improvement with behavioral interventions may rival those obtained with widely used pharmacologic therapies in representative patient samples. The article also mentions that in recent years, some attempts have been made to increase the availability and cost effectiveness of behavioral interventions through alternative delivery formats and mass communications, and suggests further integration of behavioral treatments into primary care settings, the place where the great majority of headache sufferers receive treatment.

Citation: Penzien DB, Rains JC, Andrasik F. Behavioral management of recurrent headache: three decades of experience and empiricism. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 2002 Jun; 27 (2): pp 163-81.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award