Effect of Guided Imagery on Quality of Life for Patients With Chronic Tension-Type Headache
Article first published online: 17 JUN 2002
Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain
Volume 39, Issue 5, pages 326–334, May 1999
How to Cite
Mannix, L. K., Chandurkar, R. S., Rybicki, L. A., Tusek, D. L. and Solomon, G. D. (1999), Effect of Guided Imagery on Quality of Life for Patients With Chronic Tension-Type Headache. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 39: 326–334. doi: 10.1046/j.1526-4610.1999.3905326.x
- Issue published online: 17 JUN 2002
- Article first published online: 17 JUN 2002
- Accepted for publication September 21, 1998.
- guided imagery;
- quality of life;
- Headache Disability Inventory
Objective.—To determine the effect of adjuvant guided imagery on patients with chronic tension-type headache.
Background.—Management of chronic tension-type headache often requires a combination of pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapies. Guided imagery is a relaxation technique based on visualizing pleasant images and body awareness.
Methods.—One hundred twenty-nine patients with chronic tension-type headache completed the Headache Disability Inventory and the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form (SF-36) at their initial visit to a specialty headache center and again 1 month after the visit. In addition to individualized headache therapy, patients listened to a guided imagery audiocassette tape daily for the month. One hundred thirty-one control subjects received individualized therapy without guided imagery.
Results.—Controls and the patients who listened to the guided imagery tape improved in headache frequency, headache severity, patient global assessment, quality of life, and disability caused by headache. More guided imagery patients (21.7%) than controls (7.6%) reported that their headaches were much better (P.004). The guided imagery patients had significantly more improvement than the controls in three of the SF-36 domains: bodily pain (95% CI; guided imagery patients 11.0, controls 0.2), vitality (95% CI; guided imagery patients 10.9, controls l.7), and mental health (95% CI; guided imagery patients 7.8, controls 0.4).
Conclusions.—Guided imagery is an effective adjunct therapy for the management of chronic tension-type headache.