Underuse of Behavioral Treatments for Headache: a Narrative Review Examining Societal and Cultural Factors
Migraine affects over 40 million Americans and is the world's second most disabling condition. As the majority of medical care for migraine occurs in primary care settings, not in neurology nor headache subspecialty practices, healthcare system interventions should focus on primary care. Though there is grade A evidence for behavioral treatment (e.g., biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and relaxation techniques) for migraine, these treatments are underutilized. Behavioral treatments may be a valuable alternative to opioids, which remain widely used for migraine, despite the US opioid epidemic and guidelines that recommend against them. Identifying and removing barriers to the use of headache behavioral therapy could help reduce the disability as well as the personal and social costs of migraine. These techniques will have their greatest impact if offered in primary care settings to the lower socioeconomic status groups at greatest risk for migraine. We review the societal and cultural challenges that impose barriers to optimal use of non-pharmacological treatment services. These barriers include insufficient knowledge of migraine/headache behavioral treatments and insufficient availability of clinicians trained in non-pharmacological treatment delivery; limited access in underserved communities; financial burden; and stigma associated with both headache and mental health diagnoses and treatment. For each barrier, we discuss potential approaches to minimizing its effect and thus enhancing non-pharmacological treatment utilization.Case ExampleA 25-year-old graduate student with a prior history of headaches in college is attending school in the evenings while working a full-time job. Now, his headaches have significant nausea and photophobia. They are twice weekly and are disabling enough that he is unable to complete homework assignments. He does not understand why the headaches occur on Saturdays when he pushes through all week to get through his examinations that take place on Friday evenings. He tried two different migraine preventive medications, but neither led to the 50% reduction in headache days his doctor had hoped for. His doctor had suggested cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) before initiating the medications, but he had been too busy to attend the appointments, and the challenges in finding an in-network provider proved difficult. Now with the worsening headaches, he opted for the CBT and by the fifth week had already noted improvements in his headache frequency and intensity.
Barriers to Behavioral Treatment Adherence for Headache: An Examination of Attitudes, Beliefs, and Psychiatric Factors
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Nonpharmacological interventions, such as biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, and relaxation techniques are Level-A evidence-based treatments for headache. The impact of these interventions is often equivalent to or greater than pharmacological interventions, with fewer side effects.Â Despite such evidence, the rate of participation in nonpharmacological interventions for headache remains low. Once obstacles to optimizing use of behavioral interventions, such as local access to nonpharmacological treatment and primary headache providers are traversed, identification of barriers contributing to low adherence is imperative given the high levels of disability and cost associated with treating headache disorders. In this review of factors in adults associated with underuse of nonpharmacological interventions, we discuss psychological factors relevant to participation in nonpharmacological treatment, including attitudes and beliefs, motivation for change, awareness of triggers, locus of control, self-efficacy, acceptance, coping styles, personality traits, and psychiatric comorbidities associated with treatment adherence. Finally, future prospects and approaches to optimizing treatment matching and minimizing adherence issues are addressed. METHODS:An interdisciplinary team conducted this narrative review. Neuropsychologists conducted a literature search during the month of July 2017 using a combination of the keywords ("headache" or "migraine") and ("adherence" or "compliance") or "barriers to treatment" or various "psychological factors" discussed in this narrative review. Content experts, a psychiatrist, and a complementary and integrative health specialist provided additional commentary and input to this narrative review resulting in integration of additional noteworthy studies, book chapters and books. RESULTS:Various psychological factors, such as attitudes and beliefs, lack of motivation, poor awareness of triggers, external locus of control, poor self-efficacy, low levels of acceptance, and engagement in maladaptive coping styles can contribute to nonadherence. CONCLUSIONS:To maximize adherence, clinicians can assess and address an individual's level of treatment acceptance, beliefs that may present as barriers, readiness for change, locus of control, self-efficacy and psychiatric comorbidities. Identification of barriers to adherence as well as the application of relevant assessment and intervention techniques have the potential to facilitate adherence and ultimately improve treatment success.
Relation of Quantitative Eye Movements with Cognitive Dysfunction in Patients with Concussion [Meeting Abstract]
Predictability of the sports concussion assessment tool-third edition (SCAT3) on cognitive performance measures [Meeting Abstract]
Research Objectives: To investigate the associations between the SCAT3 Cognitive factor with neuropsychological performance measures. Design: Retrospective study of adult patients diagnosed with concussions. Setting: Outpatient concussion center in a major urban medical center. Participants: Participants were 89 patients diagnosed with uncomplicated mild traumatic brain injuries/concussions ages 18 years or older referred for neuropsychological evaluation. Interventions: Neuropsychological assessment. Main Outcome Measures: Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT3), Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) Digit Span Backward Subscale, WAIS-IV Coding, Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System Verbal Fluency, California Verbal Learning Test II (CVLT-II) Long Delayed Free Recall, Stroop Color and Word Interference score, Trails Making Test B (TMTB). Results: Separated hierarchical multiple regression analyses were computed. Results indicated that a higher SCAT3 cognitive measure was predictive of lower performance on Digit Span Backward Scaled Score (T= -.32, R2 =.23, p=.005), Coding (T= -.31, R2 =.37, p=.004), CVLT-II Long Delayed Recall (T= -.22, R2 =.36, p=.030), and TMTB (T= -.41, R2 =.27, p < .001) after controlling for years of education, gender, age, numbers of prior concussions, and loss of consciousness. Conclusions: Neuropsychological measures examining concentration, visuomotor processing speed, memory, and set shifting are associated with the SCAT3 Cognitive Factor score. The SCAT3 may be a useful tool to identify individuals who may benefit from follow-up and management of cognitive symptoms. While the SCAT3 was designed for athletes, it may be helpful in the general population
Behavioral Treatments for Post-Traumatic Headache
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Post-traumatic headache (PTH) is a common headache type after traumatic brain injury (TBI). There are no FDA approved medications for PTH, and it is unknown how medications can affect the brain's ability to recover from TBI. Thus, we sought to examine the biopsychosocial factors that influence PTH and the non-pharmacologic treatments studied for headache treatment. We also sought to determine if there is literature examining whether the non-pharmacologic treatments influence the biopsychosocial factors. The non-pharmacologic treatments assessed included cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), biofeedback, progressive muscle relaxation therapy (PMR), acupuncture, and physical therapy (PT). RECENT FINDINGS: Factors associated with prognosis in PTH may include the following: severity of TBI, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, other psychiatric comorbidities, sociocultural and psychosocial factors, litigation, base rate misattribution, expectation as etiology, and chronic pain. There are few high quality studies on the non-pharmacologic treatments for PTH. Thermal and EMG biofeedback appear to have been examined the most followed by CBT. Studies did not have secondary outcomes examining the psychosocial factors related to PTH. Most of the behavioral studies involved a multi-modality intervention limiting the ability to assess the individual non-pharmacologic interventions we sought to study. There were very few randomized clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of non-pharmacologic interventions. Therefore, future research, which considers the noted biopsychosocial factors, is needed in the field to determine if these interventions reduce PTH.
Gender differences in self-reported post-concussion symptoms [Meeting Abstract]
Research Objectives: Examine gender differences in self-reported postconcussion symptoms among individuals referred for neuropsychological services. Research has shown female gender is associated with increased susceptibility to emotional, physiological, sensory, and cognitive symptom clusters (King, 2014). Few studies have demonstrated which symptom cluster females are more likely to endorse. This study evaluates gender differences in symptomatology subsequent to various causes of concussion as research has shown this has implications for outcomes. Design: Retrospective study of adult concussion patients. Setting: Outpatient concussion center in an urban medical center. Participants: 100 patients (female = 59; mean age = 40.69 years) diagnosed with concussion or Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS). Falls (33%), motor vehicle injuries (24%), and struck by an object (21%) were the top causes of injury. Interventions: Neuropsychological or psychological assessment. Main Outcome Measure(s): Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT 3). Results: Results indicated female concussion patients endorsed more physiological and sensory symptoms including nausea/vomiting (t(85.83)=-2.02, p <.05), dizziness (t(91) = -2.17, p <.05), balance problems (t(85.94) = -2.33, p <.05), sensitivity to light (t(91) = -3.18, p <.01 ), and sensitivity to noise (t(91) = -2.30, p <.05) than males. Additionally, females reported experiencing higher total numbers of symptoms (t(54.45)=-2.03, p <.05) and symptom severity (t(91) = -2.29, p <.05 ) than males. No gender differences were found with regard to cognitive, emotional, and sleep symptoms. Conclusions: A gender effect was demonstrated on several physiological and sensory concussion symptoms suggesting females to be more symptomatic than males. Results are consistent with previous findings indicating female athletes reported increased somatic symptoms postconcussion than male athletes. These findings can provide insight for rehabilitation specialists to develop more gender-specific approaches for treating female non-sport concussion patients
The Experience of Litigation After TBI. II: Coping with Litigation After TBI
Research has noted poor psychosocial outcomes among individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who are involved in litigation. While part I of this two-part qualitative study report examined litigation-related stressors that constitute barriers to recovery, part II explores ways litigants facilitated well-being and recovery both during and after litigation. Qualitative analysis reveals overarching themes related to support from others in the form of emotional help and validation, as well as the use of compensatory strategies which assist in litigation. Statements spontaneously made about financial compensation shed light on information that may be helpful for potential litigants to consider. Findings suggest medical and legal professionals should comprehensively educate TBI litigants about the legal process to maximize informed decision-making. Further, specific compensatory strategies, education, and supports are noted to assist in minimizing negative outcome often noted among TBI litigants
The experience of litigation after TBI. I: Barriers to recovery
Prior studies have frequently noted elevated symptom endorsement among traumatic brain injury (TBI) litigants compared to nonlitigants with TBI, with little examination of potential litigation-related stressors. This qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with eight current and nine past litigants was designed to improve our understanding of factors associated with the distress experienced by TBI litigants. Part one of this two-part publication (part two is a separate paper in review) focuses on the litigation experience in the domains of emotional, cognitive, physical, and psychosocial functioning and coping strategies. Themes of experiencing stagnation, feeling confused, and being misunderstood emerged among current litigants, and themes of being able to move forward and feeling increased distress were extracted from reports by past litigants. These qualitative accounts may help medical and legal professionals to understand how litigation-related factors may interfere with TBI recovery and recognize barriers to recovery.
Familiarity and prevalence of Facebook use for social networking among individuals with traumatic brain injury
OBJECTIVE: To examine use of Facebook among individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to identify barriers preventing Facebook use. METHOD: An online survey was developed assessing frequency and barriers to use of Facebook. The survey was distributed electronically to individuals with TBI through four state brain injury associations. Ninety-six individuals with TBI completed the survey (60% female, age range: 23-70). RESULTS: The relative majority of respondents (60%) reported using Facebook on a regular basis. Among those who reported not using Facebook, the most commonly reported barriers were security concerns and cognitive deficits. Approximately half of non-users indicated interest in learning to use the site, with 70% reporting that they would use it more if they were more knowledgeable about it. Both users and non-users indicated that they would be interested in receiving training to learn how to use Facebook better. CONCLUSIONS: Social networking sites are increasingly important in creating and maintaining social networks. A significant number of survey respondents expressed interest in further training on Facebook use. Increased use of social networking may have important implications for social integration among individuals with TBI.