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SYNOPSIS

The present study was performed to compare the effectiveness of broadly-based biofeedback and brief eclectic psychotherapy in alleviating tension headache. Twenty-four patients diagnosed as suffering from this disorder were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: biofeedback, brief psychotherapy, biofeedback plus brief psychotherapy and waiting-list control. Results indicated the equivalent effectiveness of the three active treatments in ameliorating various behavioral and psychophysiological aspects of tension headache. Contrary to expectation, broad-gauged biofeedback produced more psychological gains than brief eclectic psychotherapy, The behavioral and psychophysiological findings are discussed in terms of a shared symptom-removal focus, whereas the unexpected psychological findings are considered in light of headache patients' characteristic resistance to the psychological explanations of their illness afforded by psychotherapy.