A Meta-Analysis of Neurofeedback for Treating Anxiety-Spectrum Disorders

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Despite the documented efficacy of neurofeedback (NFB) in the treatment of people with anxious symptomatology, many insurance companies identify NFB as experimental, which prohibits individuals from utilizing benefits to obtain this therapeutic treatment. In order to examine this discrepancy, the present meta-analyses were conducted to examine the overall effectiveness of NFB, examine the impact of participant characteristics, and identify the extent of the differences in anxiety-spectrum outcomes. Twenty-six articles were divided based on design (12 single group (SG); 14 between-group (BG)) and analyzed in separate meta-analyses. Overall, results indicated that anxiety-spectrum self-report assessments were reduced by nearly one (SG SDM= −0.94; BG g = −0.87) standard deviation unit with relatively small degrees of bias. This study reports findings from the first exhaustive search of the literature, which included articles coming from a total of 17 databases/repositories. Applications of the findings are limited to Caucasian adults with symptoms of anxiety or PTSD.