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Posted by Todd on November 05, 2001 at 21:21:46:

Try to look past the migraine and tension headache references and focus on the point.Biofeedback Deemed Valuable, Risk-Free Approach to Headache Treatment WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Oct 31 - Biofeedback, alone or in combination with other therapies, has been shown to have clear benefits in many research investigations, including meta-analyses and research reviews, according to the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. At the American Academy of Neurology in May, Dr. William J. Mullally, of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Boston, reported null findings in a study of biofeedback treatment for migraine and tension-type headaches. Included were results for 64 patients. In an article in the winter issue of Biofeedback Newsmagazine, published online, commentators write that the Mullally report gained wide public attention, although he failed to provide details on his research. "We had physicians express concern about referring patients for biofeedback training because they had heard of Dr. Mullally's research. Otherwise we would have ignored it," Dr. Donald Moss, a biofeedback practitioner at West Michigan Behavior Health Services in Grand Haven, Michigan, and co-author of the commentary, told Reuters Health. Co-author Dr. Frank Andrasik, of the University of West Florida in Pensacola, also told Reuters Health, "when a negative study comes out in the face of literally hundreds of studies that have shown support for biofeedback for headache, we think that's a distorted view." He noted that the Mullally presentation was a conference report, which "are reviewed at a very different level than peer-reviewed, reputable journal articles are," articles that represent the body of research on biofeedback. "There have been meta-analyses that have compared the most common prophylactic drug, propranolol, with biofeedback," he said. "Statistical analysis showed that biofeedback treatment did just as well as drug treatment, without any of the side effects." The commentators also point out that the National Headache Foundation, in its Standards of Care for Headache Diagnosis and Treatment, states that biofeedback is "an excellent treatment" for the management of headaches. A National Institutes of Health Technology Assessment Panel in 1996 found that EMG biofeedback was more effective than psychological placebo. The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research judged biofeedback to be "at least moderately effective for migraine." "In the headache field, anything with a repeated moderate effect is worth doing," Dr. Moss pointed out. "The midwestern headache clinics, which are the most successful in treating headache, are the Diamond Clinic in Chicago and the Michigan Neurological and Head Pain Institute in Ann Arbor. Both of them heavily refer for biofeedback. This is one of the tools we need to use because it helps many patients; not all, but many," Dr. Moss concluded. Biofeedback Newsmagazine 2001. []

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