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Slow cortical potentials neurofeedback in children with ADHD: comorbidity, self-regulation and clinical outcomes 6 months after treatment in a multicenter randomized controlled trial


Aggensteiner, Pascal-M; Brandeis, D; Millenet, S; Hohmann, S; Ruckes, C; Beuth, S; Albrecht, B; Schmitt, G; Schermuly, S; Wörz, S; Gevensleben, H; Freitag, C M; Banaschewski, T; Rothenberger, A; Strehl, U; Holtmann, M (2019). Slow cortical potentials neurofeedback in children with ADHD: comorbidity, self-regulation and clinical outcomes 6 months after treatment in a multicenter randomized controlled trial. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 28(8):1087-1095.

Abstract

Despite sizeable short-term effects of neurofeedback (NF) therapy on attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), longer-term clinical, comorbidity and self-regulation outcomes are less systematically studied. The aim of this largest NF follow-up to date was to evaluate these outcomes 6 months after NF compared to a semi-active control to disentangle specific from unspecific sustained effects. We performed a multicenter, randomized, parallel, controlled, clinical, superiority trial in five German university outpatient departments. Participants were eligible if they fulfilled DSM-IV-TR criteria for ADHD and were aged from 7 to 9 years. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1-ratio) to 25 sessions of slow cortical potential (SCP)-NF or electromyogram biofeedback (EMG-BF). Participants were not blinded, since they received instructions according to each treatment setting. Primary outcomes were parent ratings of ADHD. The trial was registered, number ISRCTN761871859. Both groups showed improvement of ADHD symptoms compared to baseline at 6-months follow-up with large effect sizes for SCP-NF (d = 1.04) and EMG-BF (d = 0.85), but without group differences. When analyzing all assessments (pre-test, post-test-1, post-test-2 and follow-up), a group-by-time interaction emerged (p = 0.0062), with SCP-NF showing stable improvement following treatment but EMG-BF showing a relapse from post-test-1 to post-test-2, and subsequent remission at follow-up. Six months after the end of treatment, improvement after SCP-NF remained large and stable. However, the lack of group differences at follow-up suggests shared specific and unspecific effects contributing to this clinical outcome. Our correlational results indicate specificity of SCP-NF for selected subscales after training, but not at follow-up.

Abstract

Despite sizeable short-term effects of neurofeedback (NF) therapy on attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), longer-term clinical, comorbidity and self-regulation outcomes are less systematically studied. The aim of this largest NF follow-up to date was to evaluate these outcomes 6 months after NF compared to a semi-active control to disentangle specific from unspecific sustained effects. We performed a multicenter, randomized, parallel, controlled, clinical, superiority trial in five German university outpatient departments. Participants were eligible if they fulfilled DSM-IV-TR criteria for ADHD and were aged from 7 to 9 years. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1-ratio) to 25 sessions of slow cortical potential (SCP)-NF or electromyogram biofeedback (EMG-BF). Participants were not blinded, since they received instructions according to each treatment setting. Primary outcomes were parent ratings of ADHD. The trial was registered, number ISRCTN761871859. Both groups showed improvement of ADHD symptoms compared to baseline at 6-months follow-up with large effect sizes for SCP-NF (d = 1.04) and EMG-BF (d = 0.85), but without group differences. When analyzing all assessments (pre-test, post-test-1, post-test-2 and follow-up), a group-by-time interaction emerged (p = 0.0062), with SCP-NF showing stable improvement following treatment but EMG-BF showing a relapse from post-test-1 to post-test-2, and subsequent remission at follow-up. Six months after the end of treatment, improvement after SCP-NF remained large and stable. However, the lack of group differences at follow-up suggests shared specific and unspecific effects contributing to this clinical outcome. Our correlational results indicate specificity of SCP-NF for selected subscales after training, but not at follow-up.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health
Social Sciences & Humanities > Developmental and Educational Psychology
Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Language:English
Date:1 August 2019
Deposited On:15 Aug 2019 15:36
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 11:06
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1018-8827
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-018-01271-8
PubMed ID:30610380

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