Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for the treatment of headache pain: A pilot study

Day, Melissa A., Thorn, Beverly E., Ward, L. Charles, Rubin, Nancy, Hickman, Steven D., Scogin, Forrest and Kilgo, Gary R. (2014) Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for the treatment of headache pain: A pilot study. Clinical Journal of Pain, 30 2: 152-161. doi:10.1097/AJP.0b013e318287a1dc

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Author Day, Melissa A.
Thorn, Beverly E.
Ward, L. Charles
Rubin, Nancy
Hickman, Steven D.
Scogin, Forrest
Kilgo, Gary R.
Title Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for the treatment of headache pain: A pilot study
Journal name Clinical Journal of Pain   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0749-8047
Publication date 2014-02
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1097/AJP.0b013e318287a1dc
Open Access Status
Volume 30
Issue 2
Start page 152
End page 161
Total pages 10
Place of publication Philadelphia, United States
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
This pilot study reports the findings of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) investigating the feasibility, tolerability, acceptability, and initial estimates of efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) compared to a delayed treatment (DT) control for headache pain. It was hypothesized that MBCT would be a viable treatment approach and that compared to DT, would elicit significant improvement in primary headache pain-related outcomes and secondary cognitive-related outcomes.

RCT methodology was employed and multivariate analysis of variance models were conducted on daily headache diary data and preassessment and postassessment data for the intent-to-treat sample (N=36), and on the completer sample (N=24).

Patient flow data and standardized measures found MBCT for headache pain to be feasible, tolerable, and acceptable to participants. Intent-to-treat analyses showed that compared to DT, MBCT patients reported significantly greater improvement in self-efficacy (P=0.02, d=0.82) and pain acceptance (P=0.02, d=0.82). Results of the completer analyses produced a similar pattern of findings; additionally, compared to DT, MBCT completers reported significantly improved pain interference (P<0.01, d=-1.29) and pain catastrophizing (P=0.03, d=-0.94). Change in daily headache diary outcomes was not significantly different between groups (P's>0.05, d's≤-0.24).

This study empirically examined MBCT for the treatment of headache pain. Results indicated that MBCT is a feasible, tolerable, acceptable, and potentially efficacious intervention for patients with headache pain. This study provides a research base for future RCTs comparing MBCT to attention control, and future comparative effectiveness studies of MBCT and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Keyword Headache pain
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
Randomized controlled trial
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Psychology Publications
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