Brief mindfulness-based therapy for chronic tension-type headache: a randomized controlled pilot study

Behav Cogn Psychother. 2014 Jan;42(1):1-15. doi: 10.1017/S1352465813000234. Epub 2013 Apr 3.


Background: Mindfulness-based therapy (MBT) has been demonstrated to be effective for reducing chronic pain symptoms; however, the use of MBT for Chronic Tension-Type Headache (CTH) exclusively has to date not been examined. Typically, MBT for chronic pain has involved an 8-week program based on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Recent research suggests briefer mindfulness-based treatments may be effective for chronic pain.

Aims: To conduct a pilot study into the efficacy of brief MBT for CTH.

Method: We conducted a randomized controlled trial of a brief (6-session, 3-week) MBT for CTH.

Results: Results indicated a significant decrease in headache frequency and an increase in the mindfulness facet of Observe in the treatment but not wait-list control group.

Conclusion: Brief MBT may be an effective intervention for CTH.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychotherapy, Brief / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tension-Type Headache / diagnosis
  • Tension-Type Headache / psychology
  • Tension-Type Headache / therapy*