Efficacy of neurofeedback for children with histories of abuse and neglect: Pilot study and meta-analytic comparison to other treatments.
Description: This two-part study investigates the effectiveness of neurofeedback training for reducing behavioral problems commonly observed in abused/neglected children, and compares its efficacy to other treatment interventions with this population. Neuro-developmental sequelae of early relationship trauma are explored as an etiological framework for understanding disturbed affect-regulation, which appears central to the behavioral and emotional difficulties commonly experienced by this pediatric population. It is suggested that neurofeedback teaches children to self-regulate brain rhythmicity mechanisms, which in turn affects global improvements in behavior and mood. The pilot study utilizes records of 20 children removed from their biological homes by Child Protective Services. Children were assessed prior to treatment using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA), and again after 30 sessions of individualized, qEEG-guided neurofeedback training. A t-test analysis of pre- and post-scores was computed, and indicated significant improvements following treatment. A meta-analysis of existing literature on treatment interventions with abused/neglected children provides individual and aggregate effect sizes for 33 outcome studies with this clinical population, and contextualizes the results of the present pilot study within other empirically validated treatment modalities. Establishment of an overall effect size for treatment for this pediatric population provides a needed method of comparing research results across studies when control groups may not be ethical or feasible.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Huang-Storms, Lark