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Keywords:

  • migraine;
  • behavioral treatment;
  • self-management;
  • lay trainer;
  • follow-up;
  • predictors

Objective.— To evaluate the changes at 6-month follow-up after a home-based behavioral training (BT) provided by lay trainers with migraine to small groups of fellow patients.

Background.— The need for self-management programs and cost-effective treatments gave rise to this study.

Methods.— In a previous randomized controlled trial, we compared the BT group with a waitlist-control group, receiving usual care. The control group was trained directly after their waitlist period. The present study examined the follow-up results in both groups and measurements were held pre BT, post BT, and at 6-month follow-up.

Results.— Six months after BT, 42% was categorized as responders (≥−50% decrease in attack frequency), 42% did not change (−49 to 49%), and 16% responded adversely (≥50% increase). In the group as a whole (n = 95), attack frequency significantly decreased from 3.0 attacks at baseline to 2.5 post BT and to 2.3 at 6-month follow-up (−23%, medium effect size 0.6). The strong improvements of perceived control over and self-confidence in attack prevention were maintained at follow-up. Disability and health status were unchanged but quality of life significantly improved over time (P = .007). BT was more beneficial for patients who entered the training with a high attack frequency. Linear regression analysis demonstrated that a stronger belief at baseline that the occurrence of migraine is due to chance (external control) significantly predicted a lower attack frequency at follow-up.

Conclusion.— Lay trainers with migraine can train small groups of fellow patients at home in behavioral attack prevention. At 6-month follow-up, attack frequency and quality of life were significantly but modestly improved and feelings of control and self-confidence remained strongly improved.