Behavioural treatments such as relaxation training, hypnosis and biofeedback to help prevent chronic migraine headaches are cost-effective alternatives to prescription drugs, a new study suggests.
Researchers compared the costs of several types of behavioural treatment with preventive prescription drugs. After six months, minimal-contact behavioural treatment was comparable with drug treatment using medicines that cost 50 cents or less per day.
In minimal-contact treatment, a patient sees a therapist a few times a year and for the most part practises the behavioural techniques at home, helped by literature or audio tapes.
The study is published in the journal Headache.
Cheaper treatments for migraine headaches
Initially, the daily cost of prescription drugs taken as a preventive measure by many chronic migraine sufferers may not seem too high, said study co-author Dr. Donald Penzien, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
"But those costs keep adding up with additional doctor visits and more prescriptions. The cost of behavioural treatment is front-loaded. You go to a number of treatment sessions but then that's it. And the benefits last for years," he said in a medical centre news release.
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