The efficacy and efficiency of a self-administered treatment for adolescent migraine

Pain. 1992 Jun;49(3):321-4. doi: 10.1016/0304-3959(92)90238-7.


Migraine headaches are frequent in adolescents. Although many adolescents are adequately treated palliatively with analgesics, an important subgroup requires prophylactic treatment. Medical treatments for adolescents with frequent severe headaches is often problematic. Prophylactic pharmacological treatments are often shunned by adolescents and their parents because of concern over drug usage. Moreover, propranolol, the most widely used prophylactic drug with adults, is frequently not effective. Psychological interventions are effective but are costly and often not available. A randomized controlled trial was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy and efficiency of a predominantly self-administered treatment that could be delivered in a very cost-efficient format. Eighty seven adolescents (63 females and 24 males) ranging in age from 11 to 18 years were randomly assigned to receive a self-administered treatment, the same treatment delivered by a therapist or a control treatment. Self-administered and clinic treatment were equally effective and superior to the control treatment. However, the self-administered treatment was substantially more efficient. Both active treatments were durable at 1-year follow-up.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Migraine Disorders / psychology
  • Migraine Disorders / therapy*
  • Relaxation Therapy