The value of the Internet has been demonstrated for behavioral treatment of headache disorders, but not specifically for migraine.

In this study, researchers at the University of Gavle, in Sweden, developed and evaluated Internet-based behavior treatment.

First, the details.

  • A behavioral treatment program designed to improve life-style and stress coping was developed, together with a diary, for use over the Internet.
  • 83 adults with at least 2 migraine attacks a month were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 11 months.
    • Behavioral treatment with hand massage
    • Behavioral treatment alone
    • A control group
  • Participants completed questionnaires on quality of life and depressive symptoms.

And, the results.

  • A 50%, or greater, reduction in migraine frequency was found in 40% and 42% of participants of the 2 groups receiving behavioral treatment (with and without hand massage, respectively) — the differences were significantly more improved than participants in the control group.
  • No effect of hand massage was detected, and gender showed no independent contribution to the effect.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Behavioral treatment administered over the Internet appears feasible and effective in the treatment of migraine.”

High quality evidence supports the use of behavioral treatments for migraine. This study adds the benefits of the Internet, which should help reach a larger group of patients.

4/28/11 19:21 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.