Migraine Sufferers May Get a Confidence Boost from Psychological Help

Those who suffer from severe migraines gain confidence in their ability to manage their pain when they add psychological treatments to their drug therapies, a new study suggests.

By adding behavioral therapies such as workbooks and audio lessons to their medicines, people who get migraines were given a confidence boost that they could self-manage their migraines, according to a statement from Ohio University researchers.

Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from the particularly painful headaches that can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensory disturbances called auras, according to the Mayo Clinic. The condition seems to have a genetic component, with 70 percent to 80 percent of migraine patients having a family history of the condition, according to the National Headache Foundation.

In the new study, researchers from Ohio University worked with 176 participants, who were given drug therapy. Some were also given behavioral migraine management training, in which they learned how to manage their migraines through demonstrations, workbooks, audio lessons and guided home practice.

The additional behavioral training increased those participants' belief that they could influence their migraines through their behavior, and decreased their belief that migraines happen solely by chance, according to the study.

The study was published online in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Live Science Staff
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