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Post-Traumatic Headache and Psychological Health: Mindfulness Training for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

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Technical Report,27 Sep 2010,30 May 2016

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill United States

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Mindfulness training MT has proven to be effective for numerous chronic pain syndromes, but it has not been evaluated for chronic post-traumatic headache PTH. Soldiers with PTH were recruited from Womack Army Medical Center. Ninety-five subjects were randomized to one of the three interventions Mindfulness training n29, headache education n33, or usual care n33. Both behavioral programs was associated with clinically significant decreases in headache disability, while headache disability following usual care was not significantly affected HIT-6 change scores -4.2, -3.8, and -1.4, respectively. Relative to the other groups, the MBSR group had the lowest attrition although the overall drop-out rate across the three groups was high MBSR, 58 Head-EP, 75 UC, 65 . Daily stress was positively associated with headache frequency p.0001 and those with comorbid PTSD or depression were more susceptible to the effects of stress on headache frequency than those without those psychiatric comorbidities. Limitations of this project include high attrition rates. The preliminary findings suggest that stress negatively impacts headache activity, that two behavioral interventions stress and education offer comparable clinical improvement on headache disability, and that soldiers with depression or PTSD are vulnerable to the effects of stress on headache activity.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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