Mindfulness Meditation for Primary Headache Pain: A Meta-Analysis

Chin Med J (Engl). 2018 Apr 5;131(7):829-838. doi: 10.4103/0366-6999.228242.


Background: Several studies have reported that mindfulness meditation has a potential effect in controlling headaches, such as migraine and tension-type headache; however, its role remains controversial. This review assessed the evidence regarding the effects of mindfulness meditation for primary headache pain.

Methods: Only English databases (PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials [the Cochrane Library], PsycINFO, Psychology and behavioral science collection, PsyArticles, Web of Science, and Scopus) were searched from their inception to November 2016 with the keywords ("meditation" or "mindfulness" or "vipassana" or "dzogchen" or "zen" or "integrative body-mind training" or "IBMT" or "mindfulness-based stress reduction" or "MBSR" or "mindfulness-based cognitive therapy" or "MBCT" and "Headache" or "Head pain" or "Cephalodynia" or "Cephalalgia" or "Hemicrania" or "Migraine"). Titles, abstracts, and full-text articles were screened against study inclusion criteria: controlled trials of structured meditation programs for adult patients with primary headache pain. The quality of studies included in the meta-analysis was assessed with the Yates Quality Rating Scale. The meta-analysis was conducted with Revman 5.3.

Results: Ten randomized controlled trials and one controlled clinical trial with a combined study population of 315 patients were included in the study. When compared to control group data, mindfulness meditation induced significant improvement in pain intensity (standardized mean difference, -0.89; 95% confidence interval, -1.63 to -0.15; P = 0.02) and headache frequency (-0.67; -1.24 to -0.10; P = 0.02). In a subgroup analysis of different meditation forms, mindfulness-based stress reduction displayed a significant positive influence on pain intensity (P < 0.000). Moreover, 8-week intervention had a significant positive effect (P < 0.000).

Conclusions: Mindfulness meditation may reduce pain intensity and is a promising treatment option for patients. Clinicians may consider mindfulness meditation as a viable complementary and alternative medical option for primary headache.

正念冥想治疗原发性头痛的Meta分析摘要背景:已有文献报道正念冥想对诸如偏头痛、紧张性头痛等原发性头痛有潜在治疗作用,但是其确切效果仍有争议。因此本文主要为正念冥想治疗原发性头痛提供循证医学依据。 方法:本文检索2016年11月之前的英文数据库(PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials [the Cochrane Library], PsycINFO, Psychology and behavioral science collection, PsyArticles, Web of Science, Scopus),关键词是“meditation”或“mindfulness”或“vipassana”或“dzogchen”或“zen”或“integrative body-mind training”或“IBMT”或“mindfulness-based stress reduction”或“MBSR”或“mindfulness-based cognitive therapy”或“MBCT”与“Headache”或“Head pain”或“Cephalodynia”或“Cephalalgia”或”Hemicrania”或“Migraine”。然后依据纳入标准(对原发性头痛的成年患者行结构化冥想程序的对照试验研究)对标题、摘要和全文进行筛选。接着采用Yates质量评估量表评价文献质量,并运用Revman 5.3软件进行Meta分析。 结果:一共纳入10篇随机控制试验、1篇临床对照试验和315名患者。与对照组比较发现,正念冥想可以显著减弱头痛的强度[SMD =-0.89, 95% CI (-1.63, -0.15), P = 0.02]和频率[SMD =-0.67, 95% CI (-1.24, -0.1), P = 0.02]。对不同正念形式进行亚组分析发现,正念减压(MBSR)和为期8周的干预对头痛强度有积极的改善(P < 0.000)。 结论:正念冥想可以减弱原发性头痛强度,是一个有前景的治疗选择。临床医生可以考虑将正念冥想作为治疗原发性头痛的一个补充替代医学选择。.

Keywords: Headache Pain; Meta-Analysis; Mindfulness Meditation.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Headache / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Meditation / methods*
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic