A controlled evaluation of the addition of cognitive therapy to a home-based biofeedback and relaxation treatment of vascular headache

Headache. 1990 May;30(6):371-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.1990.hed3006371.x.


Seventy-six patients with vascular (migraine or mixed migraine and tension) headache (HA) participated in a controlled evaluation of a minimal-therapist-contact, largely home-based, treatment program which combined relaxation (R) training with thermal biofeedback (TBF). One group received TBF + R administered in 3 office visit over 8 weeks, supplemented by audio tapes and manuals. A second group received the TBF + R plus instruction in cognitive stress coping techniques, all of which was administered in 5 office visits over 8 weeks. A third group monitored headache activity for 8 weeks. Evaluations, based on 4 weeks of HA diary at pre-treatment and after treatment, revealed significantly greater reductions in HA activity and medication consumption for both treated groups than the HA monitoring controls who did not change. Significantly more of the treated patients had clinically significant reductions in HA activity than the controls. The two treated groups did not differ on any measure.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biofeedback, Psychology*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Vascular Headaches / drug therapy
  • Vascular Headaches / therapy*