Placebo-Controlled Evaluation of Abbreviated Progressive Muscle Relaxation and of Relaxation Combined With Cognitive Therapy in the Treatment of Tension Headache

Edward B. Blanchard, Kenneth A. Appelbaum, Cynthia L. Radnitz, Denise Michultka, Belinda Morrill, Cynthia Kirsch, Joel Hillhouse, Donald D. Evans, Patricia Guarnieri, Virginia Attanasio, Frank Andrasik, James Jaccard, Mark P. Dentinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sixty-six tension headache patients were randomly assigned to one of four conditions for 8 weeks: (a) progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) alone; (b) PMR plus cognitive therapy (PMR + Cog); (c) pseudomeditation, a credible attention-placebo control; or (d) continued headache monitoring. A comparison of overall headache activity (headache index), derived from a daily headache diary, for 4 weeks before treatment to 4 weeks after treatment, revealed that active treatment (PMR and PMR + Cog) was superior to either control condition. Moreover, level of headache medication consumption decreased significantly for the active treatment groups. Although headache-index comparisons of the two active treatments showed no advantage for adding cognitive therapy to PMR, a measure of clinically significant change showed a trend for PMR + Cog to be superior to PMR alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-215
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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