The Effectiveness of Neurofeedback and Stimulant Drugs in Treating AD/HD: Part II. Replication

This study replicated T. R. Rossiter and T. J. La Vaque (1995) with a larger sample, expanded age range, and improved statistical analysis. Thirty-one AD/HD patients who chose stimulant drug (MED) treatment were matched with 31 patients who chose a neurofeedback (EEG) treatment program. EEG patients received either office (n = 14) or home (n = 17) neurofeedback. Stimulants for MED patients were titrated using the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA). EEG (effect size [ES] = 1.01–1.71) and MED (ES = 0.80–1.80) groups showed statistically and clinically significant improvement on TOVA measures of attention, impulse control, processing speed, and variability in attention. The EEG group demonstrated statistically and clinically significant improvement on behavioral measures (Behavior Assessment System for Children, ES = 1.16–1.78, and Brown Attention Deficit Disorder Scales, ES = 1.59). TOVA gain scores for the EEG and MED groups were not significantly different. More importantly, confidence interval and nonequivalence null hypothesis testing confirmed that the neurofeedback program produced patient outcomes equivalent to those obtained with stimulant drugs. An effectiveness research design places some limitations on the conclusions that can be drawn.

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Rossiter, T. The Effectiveness of Neurofeedback and Stimulant Drugs in Treating AD/HD: Part II. Replication. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback 29, 233–243 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10484-004-0383-4

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  • neurofeedback
  • EEG biofeedback
  • AD/HD
  • stimulant drugs
  • active treatment control