Enhanced mindfulness-based stress reduction effective in reducing episodic migraine

  • Seminowicz DA & al.
  • Pain
  • 13 Mar 2020

  • curated by Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Enhanced mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR+) is more effective than stress management for headache (SHM) in reducing the frequency of and disability from episodic migraines.

Why this matters

  • Medication can increase headache frequency, so incorporating nonpharmacologic interventions could be beneficial for patients with episodic migraine.

Study design

  • A randomized, assessor-blind study of 98 patients (age range, 18-65 years) with episodic migraine, who were randomly assigned to receive either MBSR+ (n=50) or SMH (n=48) treatment.
  • Outcome: reduction in headache.
  • Funding: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health; National Institutes of Health.

Key results

  • At week 20, MBSR+ vs SMH showed significantly higher:
    • Reduction in headache days (4.6 vs 6.0 days; P=.04).
    • Treatment response rate (52% vs 23%; P=.004).
    • Reduction in headache-related disability (59.6 to 54.6 vs 59.6 to 57.5; P=.02).
  • No significant difference in pain intensity between MBSR+ and SMH (P=.63).

Limitations

  • Results may not be generalizable.
  • Single-center study.

Coauthored with Vijay Rathod, PhD.