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Study Overview

Chronic headaches (headaches that occur on 15 or more days a month for at least 3 months) affect many people, but we have very little information on how to support people to manage their chronic headaches better and help them to make the best use of available drugs. CHESS was a randomised controlled trial which compared a headache education and self-management programme with usual GP care plus a relaxation CD.

736 adults living in the UK took part in the study and were allocated at random to one of two treatment groups:

  • Group 1: Usual GP care plus a group headache education and self-management support programme.
  • Group 2: Usual GP care plus a relaxation CD.

The primary outcome measure for the study was the Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) at 12 months post randomisation.

For more details, please see Information for the Public & 'Information for Health Professionals'.

Key Study Findings

In the CHESS study we did not find any reduction in headache frequency or improvement in headache-related quality of life, in people randomised to the CHESS intervention when compared to people who used the relaxation CD.

Listen to 'The Neurology Podcast' where Prof. Martin Underwood talks to Dr. Tesha Monteith about CHESS findings in more detail, or see 'Trial Results & Publications' for links to the published journal articles.

Chief Investigator: Professor Martin Underwood

Sponsor: University of Warwick

ISRCTN Registry: 79708100


Funder Logo

This study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grants for Applied Research program (RP-PG-1212-20,018).