Practitioner Perspectives of Neurofeedback Therapy for Mental Health and Physiological Disorders

Jonathon E. Larson, Catherine B. Ryan, Mogens B. Baerentzen

Abstract


Introduction. This study utilized a systematic method to identify and to categorize practitioner perspectives related to neurofeedback therapy (NFT) for mental health and physiological disorders. We offer the identified themes for utilization in future research on practitioner variables influencing process and outcome variables, which adds to our knowledge and understanding of NFT. Method. Seventy-one practitioners completed online surveys gathering demographic information and responses to open-ended questions about advantages, disadvantages, practitioner characteristics, and essential components of NFT. We utilized Loftland and Loftland’s (1984) systematic filing system and Berg’s (2004) themes to concepts to analyze our data set, which allowed us to combine similar themes into categorical frameworks. Results. Our results provided five conceptual frameworks: advantages (84 concepts within 6 categories), disadvantages (53 concepts within 5 categories), knowledge (29 concepts in 4 categories), skills (35 concepts within 3 categories), and traits (36 concepts in 5 categories). Conclusion. An extensive number of themes revolved around three major findings. The first finding reported the ongoing NFT effectiveness of improving health conditions through symptom reduction and enhancing quality of life. The second finding emphasized an extensive practitioner commitment to overcoming the complexity of NFT. The final major finding described dissemination and financial issues related to NFT. Within this study, we expand on these issues and discuss the implication for future research and practice. We do not offer the findings within this study as a comprehensive list; rather, we offer this as a potential starting point for expanding the research of variables related to NFT.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10874208.2010.523334

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