The effectiveness of neurofeedback-based neuropsychotherapy on improving meta-attention functions for children with ADHD

Yu Chi Liao, Nai Wen Guo, Shin Jaw Chen, Hsing Fang Tsai, Bei Yi Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Neurofeedback (NF) training technique can effectively reduce inattention and behavioral symptoms in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) based on a meta-analysis study of Arns et al. (2009). Yet, there are two concerns that need be addressed. First, most training programs developed from the NF technique last for more than 40 hours. Second, little efforts had been put to the neuropsychological function, especially training effects on improvement of meta-attention and executive functions. Thus, this study was aimed to establish a novel neuropsychotherapy training program with a shorter training time and to investigate if it has multi-level mental function training effects. Combined Comprehensive Attention Training Systems (CATS) and the concept of autonomy throughout the whole training process with NF technique developed into a novel neuropsychotherapy program, called Will Well NF (WWNF). The training course for WWNF lasts 20 hours. Twenty-two ADHD children were randomly assigned to either a control group (CON group) or an experimental group (WWNF group). The CON group, after taking interview and pretests, kept original treatment protocols until posttests were done after 10 weeks. The WWNF group, after taking interview and pretests, received additional WWNF training for 10 weeks until posttests were done. This study used indices from three levels of evidences to discuss the curative effects, including clients’ neuropsychological functions and behavioral and learning adaptive questionnaires reported by their parents. The two-way repeated measured method (ANOVA) and bootstrapping method of a dependent T-test were used for statistical analysis. An F-test revealed that there were interaction effects in both neuropsychological and behavioral questionnaire levels. Compared to the CON group, the WWNF group made less delay errors and omission errors, more correct responses, reduced reaction time among attentional assessments in neuropsychological tasks, decreased inattention and ADHD symptoms in SNAP, and better daily attention function reported by parents in the questionnaire level. Improving time management behaviors reported by parents within WWNF group were also noted. This study suggested that ADHD children improve in mental functions, including attention monitoring and executive functions, and daily life behaviors after WWNF. Even though the sample size in this study was small, it proved the effect of WWNF. Future studies should increase the sample size to discuss individual impacts on effectiveness, follow up on the maintenance of effectiveness, and apply the method to different mental disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-304
Number of pages24
JournalBulletin of Educational Psychology
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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