Physiological Self-Control and The Biofeedback Treatment of Headache

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The present paper reviews the utilization of self‐management procedures (self‐control, discrimination, and self‐maintenance) in the biofeedback treatment of headache. A wide variety of methodological shortcomings were evident. Few studies either included adequate self‐control designs or demonstrated that subjects acquired self‐control of the targeted response. Discrimination training was reported in only one study. Self‐maintenance procedures were widely used, but were not based on the prior acquisition of self‐control by subjects. Suggestions for the assessment and training of self‐management strategies are presented. Future research should report the relationship between self‐control, discrimination, and self‐maintenance in regard to treatment outcome. It is concluded that a determination of the efficacy of biofeedback for headache must await further clarification of these issues.

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Headache The Journal of Head and Face Pain, v. 23, issue 4, p. 174-178