International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 748–754 | Cite as

Real-Time Assessment of the Effect of Biofeedback Therapy with Migraine: A Pilot Study

  • Miyuki Odawara
  • Masahiro Hashizume
  • Kazuhiro Yoshiuchi
  • Koji Tsuboi
Article

Abstract

Background

Biofeedback therapy has been reported to be effective in the treatment of migraine. However, previous studies have assessed its effectiveness using paper-and-pencil diaries, which are not very reliable.

Purpose

The objective of the present pilot study was to investigate the feasibility of using computerized ecological momentary assessment (EMA) for evaluating the efficacy of BF treatment for migraine in a randomized controlled trial.

Method

The subjects comprised one male and 26 female patients with migraine. They were randomly assigned to either biofeedback or wait-list control groups. Patients were asked to carry a palmtop-type computer to record momentary symptoms for 4 weeks before and after biofeedback treatment. The primary outcome measure was headache intensity. The secondary outcome measures included psychological stress, anxiety, irritation, headache-related disability and the frequency (number of days per month) of migraine attack and of headache of at least moderate intensity (pain rating ≥50).

Results

Headache intensity showed significant main effects of period (before vs. after therapy, p = 0.02) and group (biofeedback vs. control groups, p = 0.42) and a significant period × group interaction (p < 0.001). Biofeedback reduced the duration of headaches by 1.9 days, and the frequency of days when headache intensity was ≥50 by 2.4 times. In addition, headache-related disability, psychological stress, depression, anxiety, and irritation were significantly improved.

Conclusion

The present study used computerized EMA to show that biofeedback could improve the symptoms of migraine, including psychological stress and headache-related disability.

Keywords

Migraine Ecological momentary assessment Biofeedback Psychological stress Headache-related disability Multilevel model 

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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miyuki Odawara
    • 1
  • Masahiro Hashizume
    • 1
  • Kazuhiro Yoshiuchi
    • 2
  • Koji Tsuboi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Faculty of MedicineToho UniversityOta-kuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Faculty of MedicineThe University of TokyoBunkyo-kuJapan

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