Is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction a Promising and Feasible Intervention for Patients Suffering from Migraine? A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial.

Author: Simshäuser K1,2, Lüking M2,3, Kaube H2,4, Schultz C5,6, Schmidt S7
Author Information:
1Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Medical Faculty, Medical Center, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.
2Interdisciplinary Pain Center, Medical Faculty, Medical Center, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.
3Psychotherapy Practice, Freiburg, Germany.
4Headache and Neurology Center, Munich, Germany.
5University Center for Complementary Medicine, Medical Faculty, Medical Center, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.
6General Practice B80, Gundelfingen, Germany.
7Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Medical Faculty, Medical Center, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany, stefan.schmidt@uniklinik-freiburg.de.
Conference/Journal: Complement Med Res.
Date published: 2019 Aug 7
Other: Volume ID: 1-12 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1159/000501425. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 258


AIM: We performed a pilot study in order to evaluate the feasibility and to estimate effect sizes of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in a sample of patients suffering from migraine.

METHOD: Migraine patients (n = 62, mean age 44 years, 92% female) were randomly allocated to either MBSR or an active control intervention based on progressive muscle relaxation and psychoeducation. The primary outcome was the number of migraine days per month assessed by headache diaries covering one month before and one month after the intervention. Secondary outcomes included functional impairment, use of medication, psychological symptoms, quality of life, pain acceptance, pain self-efficacy, pain perception and self-attributed mindfulness. To measure feasibility, questionnaires assessing study compliance and contentment were administered.

RESULTS: The primary outcome migraine frequency showed no significant group difference. Compared to the control group, the MBSR group showed greater improvements in variables of psychological symptoms, pain self-efficacy and sensory pain perception. Within the MBSR condition, all variables showed significant improvements over the course span with effect sizes ranging from d = 0.37 to 0.81, apart from the primary outcome (27% reduction in migraine days, p = 0.07). Compliance and contentment rates were good, supporting the feasibility of the MBSR intervention.

CONCLUSION: Overall, participants in the MBSR group showed more adaptive coping strategies and decreased levels of psychological impairment compared to the control group, indicating a reduced impact of migraine on their everyday lives. It is concluded that this feasibility study demonstrates the ability of mindfulness-based interventions to reduce suffering in patients with migraine.

© 2019 S. Karger AG, Basel.

KEYWORDS: Migraine; Mindfulness-based stress reduction; Pain; Randomized controlled trial

PMID: 31390617 DOI: 10.1159/000501425

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