The Journal of Headache and Pain

Official Journal of the "European Headache Federation" and of "Lifting The Burden - The Global Campaign against Headache"

The Journal of Headache and Pain Cover Image

Volume 15 Supplement 1

Abstracts from the 4th European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress: EHMTIC 2014

Open Access

EHMTI-0339. Pain 101: managing complex chronic headaches across the lifespan

  • B Dick1,
  • M Simmonds1,
  • S Rashiq1,
  • K Reid2 and
  • M Verrier1
The Journal of Headache and Pain201415(Suppl 1):D15

Published: 18 September 2014


Cognitive ReappraisalHeadache SuffererPsychoeducational GroupPain Management ProgramAlberta Hospital


Headache pain has been found to be a common pain complaint across cultures. Much remains to be learned regarding the etiology and biological treatments of complex headaches. Much is unknown regarding etiology and biological treatments of headache


To examine the efficacy of a best practice psychological treatment program based on 3rd wave cognitive- behaviour therapy incorporating Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in adolescents and adults with complex headaches.


Outpatients referred to Stollery Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Chronic Pain Clinic and University of Alberta Hospital Multidisciplinary Pain Centre were enrolled in the Pain 101 pain management program. Of these individuals, 52 adolescents and 139 adults reported complex headache. Pain 101 uses 10 psychoeducational group sessions aimed at the key areas of pain education, reducing physiological arousal, goal setting and activity management, cognitive reappraisal and acceptance, and emotional regulation. Data collection is targeted for five years post-assessment.


Headache sufferers across the lifespan showed significant reductions in pain, pain-related disability, anxiety, pain-related fear, and a significant improvement in sleep and quality of life. Adults but not pediatric patients showed depression reduction. In adults, some of these improvements were durable over time to five years post-treatment. Insufficient data is available in the pediatric population at present to reliably discern outcomes past 6-months post-treatment.


The Pain 101 program shows promise for managing complex headaches and its clinical sequellae. The program successfully reduced disability, improved mood, and increased quality of life in a cost-effective treatment setting. Treatment effects lasted for an extended period post-treatment.

No conflict of interest.

Authors’ Affiliations

Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
Pediatric Chronic Pain Clinic, Stollery Children's Hospital, Edmonton, Canada


© Dick et al; licensee Springer. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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