Components of effective cognitive-behavioral therapy for pediatric headache: A mixed methods approach.

Emily F. Law, Sarah E. Beals-Erickson, Emma Fisher, Emily A. Lang, Tonya M. Palermo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (SciVal)


Internet-delivered treatment has the potential to expand access to evidence-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for pediatric headache, and has demonstrated efficacy in small trials for some youth with headache. We used a mixed methods approach to identify effective components of CBT for this population. In Study 1, component profile analysis identified common interventions delivered in published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of effective CBT protocols for pediatric headache delivered face-to-face or via the Internet. We identified a core set of three treatment components that were common across face-to-face and Internet protocols: (a) headache education, (b) relaxation training, and (c) cognitive skills training. Biofeedback was identified as an additional core treatment component delivered in face-to-face protocols only. In Study 2, we conducted qualitative interviews to describe the perspectives of youth with headache and their parents on successful components of an Internet CBT intervention. Eleven themes emerged from the qualitative data analysis, which broadly focused on patient experiences using the treatment components and suggestions for new treatment components. In the Discussion section, these mixed methods findings are integrated to inform the adaptation of an Internet CBT protocol for youth with headache.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-391
JournalClinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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