Neurofeedback as a nonpharmacological treatment for adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Kerstin Mayer, Sarah Wyckoff, Andreas J. Fallgatter, Ann Christine Ehlis, Ute Strehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Background: Neurofeedback has been applied effectively in various areas, especially in the treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study protocol is designed to investigate the effect of slow cortical potential (SCP) feedback and a new form of neurofeedback using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) on symptomatology and neurophysiological parameters in an adult ADHD population. A comparison of SCP and NIRS feedback therapy methods has not been previously conducted and may yield valuable findings about alternative treatments for adult ADHD. Methods/Design: The outcome of both neurofeedback techniques will be assessed over 30 treatment sessions and after a 6-month follow-up period, and then will be compared to a nonspecific biofeedback treatment. Furthermore, to investigate if treatment effects in this proof-of-principle study can be predicted by specific neurophysiological baseline parameters, regression models will be applied. Finally, a comparison with healthy controls will be conducted to evaluate deviant pretraining neurophysiological parameters, stability of assessment measures, and treatment outcome. Discussion: To date, an investigation and comparison of SCP and NIRS feedback training to an active control has not been conducted; therefore, we hope to gain valuable insights in effects and differences of these types of treatment for ADHD in adults. Trial registration: This study is registered with the German Registry of Clinical Trials:DRKS00006767, date of registration: 8 October 2014.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number174
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 18 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • Adult ADHD
  • Biofeedback
  • Neurofeedback
  • NIRS
  • SCP
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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