In conformity with current views on patient empowerment, we designed and evaluated the effects of home-based behavioural training (BT) provided by lay trainers with migraine to small groups of fellow patients. The primary aims of BT were to reduce attack frequency and increase perceived control over and self-confidence in attack prevention. In a randomized controlled trial the BT group (n = 51) was compared with a waitlist-control group (WLC), receiving usual care (n = 57). BT produced a minor (-21%) short-term effect on attack frequency and clinically significant improvement in 35% of the participants. Covariance analysis showed a non-significant trend (P = 0.07) compared with WLC. However, patients' perceived control over migraine attacks and self-confidence in attack prevention increased significantly with large effect sizes. Patients with high baseline attack frequency might benefit more from BT than those with low attack frequency. In conclusion, lay trainers with migraine strengthened fellow patients' perceived control, but did not induce a significant immediate improvement in attack frequency.

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Cephalalgia: an international journal of headache
Department of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy

Mérelle, S., Sorbi, M., van Doornen, L., & Passchier, J. (2008). Migraine patients as trainers of their fellow patients in non-pharmacological preventive attack management: Short-term effects of a randomized controlled trial. Cephalalgia: an international journal of headache, 28(2), 127–138. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2982.2007.01472.x