Relaxation Therapy and Compliance in the Treatment of Adolescent Headache




Few controlled studies have examined the effectiveness of relaxation therapy for the treatment of adolescent headaches. In this study, ten chronic headache sufferers (migraine or muscle contraction), ranging in age from 12 to 17 years (M = 13.5 SD = 1.3), were sequentially assigned to either a relaxation therapy or waiting-list control group. Following treatment, subjects in the treatment group demonstrated significantly lower Headache Index scores than subjects in the control group (U = 0, p £ .004). Group differences in Headache Free Days, Peak Headache Rating, and Medication Index scores were not significant; differences in Medication Index scores approached significance at U = 3, p £ .03. Objective compliance to treatment data indicated subjects overreported their actual practice time, on average, by 70%. Results and implications for future research are discussed.