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Table 5 Final modules and course content for the CHESS intervention

From: Development of an education and self-management intervention for chronic headache – CHESS trial (Chronic Headache Education and Self-management Study)

Day Modules Content of sessions
1. Living, understanding and dealing with chronic headaches 1. Introduction to the course and each other Session 1: Welcome and introductions
Session 2: Course overview
2. Understanding chronic headaches and acceptance Session 3. Headache information and mechanisms
Session 4. Acceptance of chronic headaches
Taster activity – Relaxation and breathing
3. Mind, body and pain link Session 5. Impact of thoughts, mood and emotions on headaches
Session 6. Headache cycle and breaking the cycle
4. Dealing with unhelpful thought patterns Session 7. Unhelpful thinking patterns: recognising and finding alternatives
5. Summary Session 8: Summary and reminders from day 1
2. Learning how to adapt and take control of your life with chronic headaches 1. Reflections Session 9. Reflections from Day 1
2. Back to basics Session 10. Identifying barriers to change and exploring problem solving and goal setting
Session 11. Lifestyle factors and impact on headaches
3. Making headaches more manageable Session 12. Managing stress and anxiety
Session 13. Managing sleep better
Session 14. Mindfulness and relaxation for headaches
Taster activity – Mindfulness practice
5. Treatment options Session 15. Medication management
6. Communication – explaining your headaches to others Session 16. Relationships and communication with family, carers and friends
Session 17. Communicating better with Health Professionals
7. Future management Session 18. Managing setbacks – what to do when things don’t go to plan
8. Summary Session 19. Summary of course
3. One to one session with nurse Session covers:
• Classification assessment with headache diary
• Discussion around medication
• Lifestyle factors and personalised goal setting.