Original Post: The Behavioral Medicine Report readers hopefully are becoming more familiar with biofeedback. Upcoming articles will cover other types of biofeedback treatments, not just neurofeedback, such as heart rate variability (HRV), temperature, and electrodermal (EDR) biofeedback. Today, please direct your attention to an important free and valuable resource that is available to the general public and professionals. AAPB recently released the 2008 edition of “Evidence-Based Practice in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback,” written by Carolyn Yucha, Ph.D. and Christopher Gilbert, Ph.D.
This mini-book is available for download as a PDF. The authors review existing biofeedback research for a multitude of mental and physical disorders that include anxiety, depression, autism, substance abuse, ADHD, chronic pain, migraine, and more. The authors make clear efficacy recommendations for each disorder based on research they located. The efficacy ratings range from 1-5 as follows:
- Level 1: Not empirically supported
- Level 2: Possibly Efficacious
- Level 3: Probably Efficacious
- Level 4: Efficacious
- Level 5: Efficacious and specific
To obtain a specific efficacy rating, strict criteria are established. Level 1 is the lowest rating, while Level 5 is the highest rating that can be achieved. You can review the article for a more detail discussion.
Siegfried Othmer, Ph.D., a well known and noted neurofeedback clinician and researcher, recently provided a critical overview Yucha & Gilbert’s work. Most of his complaints were that the authors failed to include important research articles and were too conservative in their efficacy ratings. Dr. Othermer’s comments are here. Nevertheless, “Evidence-Based Practice in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback” represents a great starting point for those that want to better understand the effectiveness of biofeedback with specific disorders.