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May 1978

Temperature Biofeedback in the Treatment of Migraine Headaches: A Controlled Evaluation

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychology, Memphis State University. Dr Blanchard is now with the Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Albany.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(5):581-588. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770290063006

• After an Initial four-week baseline phase, during which daily records of headache frequency and Intensity and dally medication records were kept, 30 patients with frequent (at least one per month) migraine headaches were randomly assigned to three conditions: (1) temperature biofeedback, autogenic training, and regular home practice; (2) progressive relaxation with regular home practice; and (3) a waiting-list control condition.

Comparisons of headache data from the four weeks of baseline and last two weeks of treatment showed that both the relaxation and biofeedback groups improved significantly on total headache activity, duration of headaches, and peak headache intensity and reduced consumption of analgesic medication, while the waiting list control group did not. All three groups showed significant decreases in headache frequency.

Although the relaxation training was more effective than biofeedback training at the last week of treatment, follow-up data at one, two, and three months showed no differences between the two treated groups on any dependent measure.

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