Theta/SMR neurofeedback training works well for some forensic psychiatric patients, but not for others: A sham-controlled clinical case series

S. Fielenbach*, F.C.L. Donkers, Marinus Spreen, A. Smit, Stefan Bogaerts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Electroencephalographic (EEG) neurofeedback could be a promising treatment for forensic psychiatric patients. Increasing evidence shows some patients are unable to regulate cortical activity. Before neurofeedback can be applied successfully, research is needed to investigate the interpersonal mechanisms responsible for patients’ ability to respond to neurofeedback. A single-case experimental design allows for close monitoring of individual patients, providing valuable information about patients’ response to the intervention and the time frame in which changes in clinical symptoms can be observed. Four patients with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text rev.; DSM-IV-TR) substance use disorder and various comorbidities participated in a sham-controlled clinical case study. Self-report level of impulsivity and craving were assessed. Results indicate that one patient showed more improvements on behavioral measures after the neurofeedback training than did the others. This patient reported less impulsivity and reduced levels of self-reported
craving. However, these findings could not be attributed to the neurofeedback intervention. The findings suggest that there is insufficient evidence for the beneficial effects of a theta/sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) neurofeedback intervention on measures of impulsivity and craving, and that there may be great interindividual differences in patients’ ability to regulate cortical activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2422-2439
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Volume63
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Keywords

  • ADHD
  • ALCOHOL
  • BEHAVIOR
  • BRAIN
  • DESIGN
  • DISORDER
  • EEG
  • EEG learning
  • IMPULSIVITY
  • PERSONALITY
  • VIOLENCE
  • impulsivity
  • neurofeedback
  • offenders
  • substance use disorder

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