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The effectiveness of microcurrent neurofeedback on depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and quality of life

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Abstract Background: 

The world faces a mental health crisis with elevated rates of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress, leaving a profound impact on daily quality of life (QOL). Current treatments show varying degrees of efficacy and carry burdensome challenges. Evidence exists for use of an innovative neurotechnology to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the science is lacking for use in the general population.

 

Purposes: 

The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the effects of microcurrent neurofeedback on depression, anxiety, PTSD symptoms, and QOL in adults.

Methodology: 

This was a one-group, exploratory pilot study that tested outcomes of depression, anxiety, PTSD risk, suicide risk, and QOL in 20 adults using convenience sampling. IASIS microcurrent neurofeedback (I-MCN) was the intervention that was delivered twice a week for 10 weeks; data collection was baseline, 5 weeks, and 10 weeks.

Results: 

Depression, anxiety, PTSD risk, and QOL improved significantly by the 10th and 20th session; suicidal risk showed nonsignificant reduction. Use of a more feasible interventional procedure established a foundation for use in clinical settings for the population.

Conclusions: 

Using a more simpler procedure than what was used in a previous study reflected positive outcomes earlier and sustained over 10 weeks. This safe and effective technology carries rare but easily overcome adverse effects and could be an alternative to existing treatments or treatment-resistant conditions.

 

Implications: 

Advanced practice nurses can apply the evidence to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Randomized controlled trials and testing on diverse populations are needed.

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