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Papers of the Week

2022 Sep 06

Contemp Clin Trials

Acceptance and commitment therapy for episodic migraine: Rationale and design of a pilot randomized controlled trial.


Bernstein CA, Connor JP, Vilsmark ES, Paschali M, Rozenkrantz L, Rist PM, Wayne PM, Lazaridou A
Contemp Clin Trials. 2022 Sep 06:106907.
PMID: 36084899.


Migraine is a debilitating disorder with limited pharmacological options. Many migraine medications can have intolerable side effects leading patients to seek complementary and integrative health (CIM) approaches for treatment. One option that is growing in popularity and evidence is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a mindfulness-based therapy. The purpose of this paper is to describe how ACT may be an effective modality integrated into the treatment of migraine and to describe the design of a pilot study of ACT for migraine. First, we review the research and the promise of mindfulness therapies for the treatment of migraine. Then, we describe how ACT differs from other mindfulness therapies for migraine and why it can be a promising option for these patients. Finally, we summarize the design of a pilot study designed to determine the feasibility of performing a future fully powered study to determine the effectiveness of ACT on migraine frequency and disability. This pilot study includes unique features, including a remotely-delivered ACT intervention and the measurement of cortisol levels before and after the intervention.