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Psychological Interventions for Headache That Has Become Difficult to Treat

  • Donna Maria Coleston-Shields
Reference work entry

Abstract

While it may be argued that all headache patients could benefit from psychological pain management of some form, restricted access to psychology services or prohibitive waiting lists may mean that the headache clinician has to focus psychological efforts only when psychological difficulties are suspected and these factors may be making the headache harder to treat. An association between headache, migraine in particular, and depression has long been described. The task is to recognize and formally describe low mood and increased anxiety (using basic standardized assessments), and then to interpret such symptoms appropriately: do they represent a primary psychological disorder (clinical depression or anxiety) or are they instead a consequence of the experience of head pain? Especially if the former is the case, referral on to specialist psychology services may be necessary, but it may be possible for the headache clinician to recommend or make use of some basic psychological techniques, particularly those involving relaxation training, which when learned properly and used regularly can be impressively effective.

Keywords

Chronic Daily Headache General Health Questionnaire Headache Clinician Beck Anxiety Inventory Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Lifting The Burden 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeuropsychologyNeurosciences Unit, University Hospital Coventry & WarwickshireCoventryUK

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