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1-year follow-up of neurofeedback treatment in adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: randomised controlled trial

  • Marleen Bink (a1), Ilja L. Bongers (a2), Arne Popma (a3), Tieme W. P. Janssen (a4) and Chijs van Nieuwenhuizen (a5) (a6)...
Abstract
Background

Estimates of the effectiveness of neurofeedback as a treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are mixed.

Aims

To investigate the long-term additional effects of neurofeedback (NFB) compared with treatment as usual (TAU) for adolescents with ADHD.

Method

Using a multicentre parallel-randomised controlled trial design, 60 adolescents with a DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of ADHD receiving NFB+TAU (n=41) or TAU (n=19) were followed up. Neurofeedback treatment consisted of approximately 37 sessions of theta/sensorimotor rhythm (SMR)-training on the vertex (Cz). Outcome measures included behavioural self-reports and neurocognitive measures. Allocation to the conditions was unmasked.

Results

At 1-year follow-up, inattention as reported by adolescents was decreased (range η p 2=0.23–0.36, P<0.01) and performance on neurocognitive tasks was faster (range η p 2=0.20–0.67, P<0.005) irrespective of treatment group.

Conclusions

Overall, NFB+TAU was as effective as TAU. Given the absence of robust additional effects of neurofeedback in the current study, results do not support the use of theta/SMR neurofeedback as a treatment for adolescents with ADHD and comorbid disorders in clinical practice.

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Copyright
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Corresponding author
Dr Marleen Bink, Department of Clinical Neuropsychology VU University Amsterdam, Van der Boechorststraat 1, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Email: marleen.bink@vu.nl
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Copyright and usage

© The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2016. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licence.

Footnotes
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1-year follow-up of neurofeedback treatment in adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: randomised controlled trial

  • Marleen Bink (a1), Ilja L. Bongers (a2), Arne Popma (a3), Tieme W. P. Janssen (a4) and Chijs van Nieuwenhuizen (a5) (a6)...
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