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Neurofeedback and Biofeedback for Mood and Anxiety Disorders: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness and Guidelines

Published on: November 13, 2017
Project Number: RC0939-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Devices and Systems
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of neurofeedback provided by a health professional for mood or anxiety disorders in adults?
  2. What is the clinical effectiveness of biofeedback provided by a health professional for mood or anxiety disorders in adults?
  3. What is the clinical effectiveness of biofeedback using home equipment for mood or anxiety disorders in adults?
  4. What are the evidence-based guidelines regarding the use of neurofeedback or biofeedback for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in adults?

Key Message

Evidence from single randomized controlled trials suggests that compared with no treatment there is a statistically significant improvement in symptoms with neurofeedback treatment in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).A single randomized controlled trial (RCT) showed that for patients with PTSD there was improvement in symptoms with biofeedback (BF) plus treatment as usual (TAU) and also with TAU alone but the improvement occurred faster in the BF plus TAU group. A single RCT showed that for patients with PTSD there were no between group differences for BF and various mindfulness related treatment modalities. A single RCT showed that for patients with major depressive disorder, there was a statistically significant improvement in depression with BF plus TAU. Results need to be interpreted in the light of limitations (such as small sample size, lack of randomization details, lack of reporting of adverse events, lack of long-term data).No relevant studies on the clinical effectiveness of biofeedback using home equipment for treatment of PTSD, GAD, or depression without continued support from health professionals were identified.No relevant evidence based guidelines regarding the use of neurofeedback or biofeedback for the treatment of PTSD, GAD, or depression were identified.

Tags

mental health, anxiety, biofeedback, psychology, depression, mood disorders, neurofeedback, stress disorders, post-traumatic, traumatic stress, anxiousness, neurotherapy, fatigue, Depressive