Cognitive Changes of Migraineurs Receiving Biofeedback Training


  • Presented at the 29th Annual Meeting of the A.A.S.H., Quebec City, Canada, June 20, 1987.



This study investigated change in cognitions of migraine patients as they progressed through biofeedback training. Specific cognitions investigated were beliefs about their ability to control physiological processes and their health in general, and coping strategies used.

Subjects were male and female patients presenting with chronic migraine headache at Sunnybrook Medical Centre. They completed the Health Locus of Control, PSC Belief Survey and Cognitive Coping Questionnaire at three different intervals - pre-, mid- and post-treatment. The results showed that patients became more internal about their beliefs to control their general health, held higher beliefs of ability to control their physiological processes, and were ignoring their pain sensations more than when they started treatment. There was a trend for patients to increase the use of coping self-statements and to decrease catastrophizing. Interestingly, the significant change in cognitions took place between pre- and mid-treatment (i.e. before biofeedback training occurred). There were some significant correlations between the cognitive and physiological measures, and headache outcome.