11 Headaches

Health Psychology


  1. Frank Andrasik PhD1,
  2. C. Mark Sollars MS2,
  3. Susan E. Walch PhD3,
  4. Dawn C. Buse PhD4

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop209011

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Andrasik, F., Sollars, C. M., Walch, S. E. and Buse, D. C. 2012. Headaches. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 9:III:11.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Memphis, Department of Psychology, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

  2. 2

    Montefiore Headache Center, Bronx, New York, USA

  3. 3

    University of West Florida, Department of Psychology, Pensacola, Florida, USA

  4. 4

    Yeshiva University, Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Department of Psychology, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Bronx, New York, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


Headache is a very common syndrome, affecting most individuals over their lifetime. This chapter begins with a review of headache classification, diagnosis, and etiology, focusing in particular on migraine (including those forms related to menses) and tension-type headaches, as well as cluster headaches and headaches complicated by overuse of medication. The next section focuses on methods for quantifying various parameters of head pain, as well as supplemental measures designed to assess impact on various areas of functioning and the burden of headache. The remainder of the chapter is devoted to reviewing three primary nonpharmacological approaches to treatment—relaxation, biofeedback, and cognitive behavioral interventions. Included in this section are studies addressing and supporting the evidence base for these approaches (culled from review panels and meta-analyses) and factors bearing on outcome (such as headache type, frequency, and chronicity; age and gender; treatment history; comorbid psychological conditions; environmental factors; and patient preference and cost-effectiveness). This section concludes with a discussion of treatment delivery models being explored as an alternative to 1:1 office-based approaches (reduced therapist contact, group approaches, and Web-based programs), adherence (including ways to enhance adherence and motivation), and patient education and communication.


  • migraine;
  • tension-type headache;
  • relaxation;
  • biofeedback;
  • cognitive behavior therapy