Experiences of neurofeedback therapists in treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

Jessica Oliveira, Janice Pellow, Tebogo Tsele-Tebakang, Elizabeth M. Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Neurofeedback is a neurostimulatory biofeedback behavioural therapy that regulates brain wave levels for optimal cognitive functioning. It has shown promising results for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Aim: To explore and describe the experiences of neurofeedback therapists (NTs) using neurofeedback to treat children and adults with ADHD and their experience of its role and value in treating this condition. Setting: Interviews were conducted in participants’ private consultation rooms in Gauteng, South Africa. Methods: In this qualitative study using a descriptive phenomenological approach, six registered NTs with experience of treating ADHD were interviewed. Participants were asked: ‘Tell me about your experiences of neurofeedback with ADHD patients in your practice.’ Responses were audio-recorded, transcribed and underwent thematic analysis. Results: Participants experienced neurofeedback as an effective treatment for ADHD and other coexisting conditions, such as anxiety and insomnia. Participants felt that the neurofeedback process facilitates a beneficial therapeutic relationship and integrates well with other treatment methods. Challenges faced in practice included certain underlying comorbidities, home environment, poor patient compliance and NTs’ level of expertise, which impact treatment outcomes. Conclusion: Neurofeedback therapists expressed an overall positive perception of the value of neurofeedback to reduce ADHD symptom severity and improve quality of life, particularly when used as part of a multimodal approach. Participants identified a need for further education and awareness regarding the use of neurofeedback for ADHD. Contribution: This study has contributed to our understanding of the role of neurofeedback in treating ADHD in the South African setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera1874
JournalHealth SA Gesondheid
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • experiences
  • neurofeedback
  • neurofeedback therapist
  • phenomenological
  • qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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