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App for headache sufferers shows success

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 9:29am
EurekAlert!

This is professor Paul Martin.  Credit: Griffith University

 A unique app that helps headache sufferers to record the severity and regularity of their pain is being used as part of a Griffith research study.

A new approach to the treatment of headaches, the ENHANCE project looks at coping with their triggers and is being led by Professor Paul Martin from Griffith Health Institute's Behaviorial Basis of Health program.

He has developed an approach designed to enable people to cope with the triggers of their headaches called Learning to Cope with Triggers (LCT).

Using a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and LCT, the team is aiming to help headache sufferers to become desensitised to triggers such as food, noise, stress etc, or build up a tolerance to them.

Now, the team, in conjunction with Wexpert Technologies, have developed a unique electronic headache diary which can be used by participants in the study in order to record daily ratings of head pain.

"Information recorded via the app can be directly downloaded into data files, saving time and eliminating transcription errors," says Professor Martin. "The technology will enable the team to know when the ratings of head pain are made, rather than relying on the self reports of the participants. This app will benefit the ENHANCE project but will also be a very useful tool for other headache researchers around the world."

The new app can be used on all smartphone platforms as well as on any form of computer.

Professor Martin says that current participants in the study have reported that the app is 'user friendly,' 'much easier to use than paper and pencil' and 'a convenient solution'.

Original Release: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-07/gu-afh072714.php

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