'It’s All In Your Head': How Psychological Factors Impact On Chronic Headache, And What We Can Do About It.
Chronic headaches, including chronic migraine, chronic tension-type headache and medication overuse headache, are notoriously difficult to manage. Their unpredictability results in compromise to every aspect of life. As such, anxiety, depression and stress are enhanced; these may be catalysts towards new/different headaches. This vicious cycle is often ignored in traditional treatments. Tamar will describe the evidence for psychological predictors of chronic headaches, how these factors are experienced by patients, and emerging evidence on interventions that may complement current approaches.
Tamar Pincus Is a Professor in Health Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she also holds the position of Associate Dean (research) in the Science Faculty. She has a PhD in psychology (University College London), and Masters Degrees in experimental research methods in psychology (UCL), and epidemiology (Cambridge University). Tamar is a registered practicing practitioner with the Health and Care Professionals Council.
Professor Pincus is the Director of the Research Centre for the study of Pain and Well-Being at Royal Holloway. The research has included investigation of cognitive biases in pain patients; the psychological predictors for poor outcome in low back pain, and the study of clinicians’ beliefs and behaviours and their effect on patients with pain, especially in reference to effective reassurance and return to work.
Tamar’s practical work has focused on training practitioners in effective communication skills and fostering awareness of patients’ psychological needs and concerns.