Behavioral and Mind/Body Interventions in Headache: Unanswered Questions and Future Research Directions

Authors

  • Rebecca E. Wells MD, MPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
    • Address all correspondence to R.E. Wells, MD, MPH, Department of Neurology, Medical Center Blvd., Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.

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  • Todd A. Smitherman PhD,

    1. Department of Psychology, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, USA
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  • Elizabeth K. Seng PhD,

    1. Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, New York, NY, USA
    2. Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY
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  • Timothy T. Houle PhD,

    1. Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
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  • Elizabeth W. Loder MD, MPH

    1. Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
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  • Conflict of Interest: None.

Abstract

Background

Many unanswered questions remain regarding behavioral and mind/body interventions in the treatment of primary headache disorders in adults.

Methods

We reviewed the literature to ascertain the most pressing unanswered research questions regarding behavioral and mind/body interventions for headache.

Results

We identify the most pressing unanswered research questions in this field, describe ideal and practical ways to address these questions, and outline steps needed to facilitate these research efforts. We discuss proposed mechanisms of action of behavioral and mind/body interventions and outline goals for future research in this field.

Conclusions

Although challenges arise from the complex nature of the interventions under study, research that adheres to published study design and reporting standards and focuses closely on answering key questions is most likely to lead to progress in achieving these goals.

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