Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) on Increasing Resilience and Reducing Headache in Migraine Patients

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PH.D Student of health psychology in department of psychology, International Khorramshahr - Persian Gulf Branch, Islamic Azad University, Khorramshahr, Iran

2 Department of Psychology, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran

3 Associate, Department of Psychology, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran


Introduction: The present study was performed with aim to investigate the effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) on increasing resilience and reducing headaches in patients with migraines.
Methods: The present study was a quasi-experimental study with pretest-post-test design and a control group. The statistical population included all patients with migraine referred to Shahid Dr. Lavasani Hospital in Tehran at 2018. 35 patients were selected by targeted sampling method and were randomly assigned to two groups of experimental and control. In both groups, patient resilience and headache were assessed through Connor and Davidson Resilience Questionnaire and Ahwaz Migraine Headache Questionnaire. The first group received mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in 8 sessions, but the second group did not receive any intervention. Then, in posttest, the resilience and headache of both groups were evaluated. Data were analyzed using multivariate analysis of covariance.
Results: The results showed that cognitive therapy based on mindfulness was effective on patients' resilience and headache (P <0.01).
Conclusion: Due to the effectiveness of treatment, the use of different psychological therapies, including MBCT, as a complement to medical therapies is recommended for patients with migraines.


  1. Stonnington, C. M., Kothari, D. J., & Davis, M. C. (2016). Understanding and promoting resiliency in patients
    with chronic headache. Current neurology and neuroscience reports, 16(1), 6.
    2. Terwindt GM. Advance in genetics of migraine. Current opinion in neurology. 2019 Mar.
    3. Vos T, Barber RM, Bell B, Bertozzi-Villa A, Biryukov S, Bolliger I, Charlson F, Davis A, Degenhardt L,
    Dicker D, Duan L. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 301
    acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global
    Burden of Disease Study 2013. The Lancet. 2015;386(9995):743-800.
    4. Olesen J. International classification of headache disorders. The Lancet Neurology. 2018 May 1;17(5):396-7.
    5. parvaz (M. A), Y., parvaz (M. A), S., jahanbaznejad (M. A), K. Comparative investigation of personality traits
    in migraine patients and sound people by personality MMPI questionaire.. Clinical Psychology Studies, 2011;
    1(3): 60-80.
    6. Luthar SS, Cicchetti D, Becker B. The construct of resilience: A critical evaluation and guidelines for future
    work. Child development. 2000 May;71(3):543-62.
    7. Olsson CA, Bond L, Burns JM, Vella-Brodrick DA, Sawyer SM. Adolescent resilience: A concept analysis.
    Journal of adolescence. 2003 Feb 1;26(1):1-1.
    8. Aghayusefi A, Bazyari Meymand M. Study of General health, resiliency, and defense mechanisms in patients
    with migraine headache. Iran South Med J. 2013; 16 (2) :118-127
    9. Grazzi L, Bernstein C, Raggi A, Sansone E, Grignani E, Searl M, Rizzoli P. ACT for migraine: effect of
    acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for high-frequency episodic migraine without aura: preliminary
    data of a phase-II, multicentric, randomized, open-label study. Neurological Sciences. 2019 Mar 11:1-2.
    10. Brown, H., Newman, C., Noad, R., & Weatherby, S. (2012). Behavioral management of migraine. Annual
    Indian Academic Neurology, 15, 78-82.
    11. Day MA, Thorn BE, Ward LC, Rubin N, Hickman SD, Scogin F, Kilgo GR. Mindfulness-based cognitive
    therapy for the treatment of headache pain: a pilot study. The Clinical journal of pain. 2014 Feb 1;30(2):152-
    12. Thorn BE, Pence LB, Ward LC, et al. A randomized clinical trial to reduce catastrophizing in chronic
    headache sufferers. J Pain. 2007;8:938–949
    13. Burns JW, Glenn B, Bruehl S, et al. Cognitive factors influence outcome following multidisciplinary chronic
    pain treatment: a replication and extension of a cross-lagged panel analysis. Behav Res Ther. 2003;41:1163–
    14. Burns JW, Kubilus A, Bruehl S, Harden RN, Lofland K. Do changes in cognitive factors influence outcome
    following multidisciplinary treatment for chronic pain? A cross-lagged panel analysis. Journal of consulting
    and clinical psychology. 2003 Feb;71(1):81.
    15. Thorn BE, Boothby JL, Sullivan MJ. Targeted treatment of catastrophizing for the management of chronic
    pain. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. 2002 Mar 1;9(2):127-38.
    16. Nash-McFeron D. Mindfulness in the treatment of chronic headache pain [Dissertation]. Seattle (WA): Seattle
    Pacific University. 2006.
    17. Pradhan EK, Baumgarten M, Langenberg P, Handwerger B, Gilpin AK, Magyari T, Hochberg MC, Berman
    BM. Effect of mindfulness‐based stress reduction in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Arthritis Care & Research.
    2007 Oct 15;57(7):1134-42
    18. Rosenzweig S, Greeson JM, Reibel DK, Green JS, Jasser SA, Beasley D. Mindfulness-based stress reduction
    for chronic pain conditions: variation in treatment outcomes and role of home meditation practice. Journal of
    psychosomatic research. 2010 Jan 1;68(1):29-36
    19. Goyal M, Haythornthwaite J, Levine D, Becker D, Vaidya D, Hill-Briggs F, Ford D. Intensive meditation for
    refractory pain and symptoms. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2010 Jun
    20. Young WB, Park JE, Tian IX, Kempner J. The stigma of migraine. PloS one. 2013 Jan 16;8(1):e54074.
    21. Sabatini F. The relationship between happiness and health: evidence from Italy. Social Science & Medicine.
    2014 Aug 1;114:178-87.
    22. Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Balderson BH, Cook AJ, Anderson ML, Hawkes RJ, Hansen KE, Turner JA.
    Effect of mindfulness-based stress reduction vs cognitive behavioral therapy or usual care on back pain and
    functional limitations in adults with chronic low back pain: a randomized clinical trial. Jama. 2016 Mar
  2. 23. Connor KM, Davidson JR. Development of a new resilience scale: The Connor‐Davidson resilience scale
    (CD‐RISC). Depression and anxiety. 2003 Sep;18(2):76-82.
    24. Bigdeli I, Najafy M, Rostami M. The Relation of Attachment Styles, Emotion Regulation, and Resilience to
    Well-being among Students of Medical Sciences . Iranian Journal of Medical Education. 2013; 13 (9) :721-729
    25. Nagareyan B. Migrain headache. Hygiene World 1996; 11: 52- 4. (Persian)
    26. Segal ZV, Teasdale JD, Williams JM, Gemar MC. The mindfulness‐based cognitive therapy adherence
    scale: Inter‐rater reliability, adherence to protocol and treatment distinctiveness. Clinical Psychology &
    Psychotherapy. 2002 Mar;9(2):131-8.
    27. van Son, Jenny., Nyklíček, Ivan., Pop, Victor J., Blonk, Marion C., Erdtsieck, Ronald J., Pouwer,
    François(2014). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for people with diabetes and emotional problems: Longterm follow-up findings from the DiaMind randomized controlled trial, Journal of Psychosomatic Research,
    Volume 77, Issue 1, 81–84
    28. mirmahdi, S., razaali, M. The Effectiveness of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy on Resilince, Emotion
    Regulation and Life Expectancy among Women with Diabetes2. QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF HEALTH
    PSYCHOLOGY, 2019; 7(28): 167-183
    29. Kalapurakkel S, A. Carpino E, Lebel A, E. Simons L. “Pain can’t stop me”: Examining pain self-efficacy
    and acceptance as resilience processes among youth with chronic headache. Journal of Pediatric Psychology.
    2014 Oct 15;40(9):926-33.
    30. Mansourishad H, Togha M, Borjali A, Karimi R. Effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive-behavioral
    therapy on relieving migraine headaches. Archives of Neuroscience. 2017;4(4).
    31. Crane, R. (2012). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy: distinctive features. (Translated by Firoozeh Jafari,
    Hamid Khanipoor & Parvaneh Mohammadkhani). Tehran: University of Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences.
    32. Penzien DB. Stress management for migraine: recent research and commentary. Headache. 2009;49:1395–
    33. Otis J. Managing chronic pain: A cognitive-behavioral therapy approach. Oxford university press; 2007 Sep
    34. Zare, H., Mohammadi, N., Motaghi, P., Afshar, H., Poorkazem, L. Effectiveness of modified mindfulnessbased cognitive therapy on catastrophizing, acceptance and severity of pain in Fibromyalgia
    patients. QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY, 2014; 3(12): 97-117.