Muscular response to the therapist and symptomatic improvement during biofeedback for tension headache

François Borgeat, Robert Elie, Louis Georges Castonguay

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6 Scopus citations


The relationship between muscular response to the therapist's presence and symptomatic improvement was studied during biofeedback. Thirty-two patients suffering from tension headaches received muscular biofeedback training of six sessions plus a follow-up session two months later. Patients' electro-myographic frontal response was measured prior to treatment both with and without the therapist present. A relationship was found between symptomatic improvement at follow-up and muscular response to the therapist's presence before treatment: patients showing a decrease of at least 10% in muscular tension response to the presence of their future therapist improved more regarding headache intensity than the patients showing increase or smaller variation of their EMG. A significant correlation of .59 was found between the frontal EMG response to therapist presence during the evaluation session and headache improvement at follow-up. The results suggest that the decrease of muscular tension during the first contact with the therapist could be an indicator of good prognosis, possibly because of an immediate positive therapeutic relationship and/or favorable expectancies concerning future benefit of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalBiofeedback and Self-Regulation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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