The Effectiveness of Neurofeedback Therapy as an Alternative Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children

L van Hoogdalem, H Feijs, W Bramer, Sohal Ismail, Josanne van Dongen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlePopular

6 Citations (Scopus)


Findings for the effectiveness of neurofeedback in autism spectrum disorder are found to be inconsistent. Therefore, this review comprehensively and systematically reviewed literature on the effectiveness of neurofeedback for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders in children. A systematic search of Embase, Medline, Web of Science, PsycINFO, Cochrane, and Google Scholar was carried out in October 2017 to find relevant papers. We selected full journal articles that reported neurofeedback as a treatment for autism in children (0–17 years). The search yielded 587 articles and we included 20 references with a total of 443 participants. Ninety-four percent of nonrandomized controlled and experimental trials concerning neurofeedback for autism spectrum disorders found positive results. The evidence for effectiveness of neurofeedback therapy was even more robust when only randomized controlled studies were considered. Although there are only a few randomized controlled studies, results support effectiveness of neurofeedback for autism spectrum disorder, including long-term positive effects. In the future, optimal treatment protocols have to be developed to guide clinicians in their neurofeedback treatment. In conclusion, neurofeedback seems to be an alternative treatment for autism spectrum disorders, with space for improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-115
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psychophysiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2021

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