When headache won’t go away: pilot study on a group psychoeducational and relaxation intervention

Author/s Elisa Andrighi, Irene Strada, Nicoletta Massetto, Serena Magno, Anna Dodi, Elena Vegni
Publishing Year 2016 Issue 2016/38 Language Italian
Pages 11 P. 5-15 File size 114 KB
DOI 10.3280/QPC2016-038001
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Headache is a severe and disabling chronic disease. Several non-pharmacological interventions can reduce frequency and/or intensity of headache attacks and improve life quality. Literature also shows that psycho-educational interventions are useful for several chronic diseases. The Psychology Unit of San Paolo Hospital-University of Milano in collaboration with the Headache Center of the same hospital proposed a psycho-educational and relaxation intervention addressed to patients suffering from headache. The aim is to describe the intervention and report preliminary results. The treatment (eight weekly meetings) is addressed to adults suffering from primary headache. The outcome indicators are a direct measure of headache (headache days per month) and two indirect measures (disability due to headache and medications used). At the end of the intervention patients also filled in a satisfaction questionnaire. 47 subjects participated in the study. The treatment significantly reduced frequency of headache attacks (Wilcoxon p<0,01) and disability caused by headache (Wilcoxon p<0,001). There was also a sensible reduction in medication use. Almost all patients judged the intervention positively. An integrated approach may be very useful to ameliorate the burden of headache, to discontinue medication and to improve quality of life.

Keywords: Psychoeducation, relaxation, headache

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Elisa Andrighi, Irene Strada, Nicoletta Massetto, Serena Magno, Anna Dodi, Elena Vegni, Quando il mal di testa non passa: studio pilota su un intervento psicoeducativo e di rilassamento di gruppo in "QUADERNI DI PSICOTERAPIA COGNITIVA" 38/2016, pp 5-15, DOI: 10.3280/QPC2016-038001