Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Controlled trials were eligible for inclusion.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies that compared AT alone with an alternative active treatment or control were eligible for inclusion. The AT treatment had to consist of at least 3 training sessions with three basic exercises, with or without additional exercises or home practice. Studies that used tape-cassettes for training were eligible. In the included studies, treatment ranged from 3 to 10 sessions with no, or up to twice daily, home practice. Comparisons included training in cognitive coping skills, galvanic skin resistance (biofeedback), electromyography relaxation training, self-hypnosis, future oriented hypnotic imagery and waiting list. Some studies used more than one control group.
Participants included in the review
Adults with tension-type headache were eligible for inclusion. The participants included both males and females with a mean age ranging from 23 to 45 years. The participants generally represented those with more severe tension-type headache and were mostly recruited from secondary care.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Explicit inclusion criteria for the outcomes were not stated. The main outcomes evaluated in the included studies were headache 'activity', intensity, and headache index scores. The follow-up period ranged from 28 days to 1 year.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
Two reviewers independently assessed papers for inclusion.