DOI: 10.14704/nq.2017.15.4.1136

A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Neurofeedback-based Training for Improvement in Social Phobia Disorder

Peihua Zhang, Lin Cheng


Objective: to examine the effectiveness of using neurofeedback to improve patients' social phobia. Design and setting: randomized controlled trial, conducted at a counseling center in west china. Participants: 30 patients reporting social phobia were recruited in this study. Interventions: participants were assigned randomly to either a neurofeedback or a non-neurofeedback group. All patients in both groups received the same traditional training except for neurofeedback. The neurofeedback group received 45 minutes of neurofeedback, twice a week for six sessions. Measures and finding: the measure of this study was the Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN), which was administered before and after the program. Using a 2 × 2 MANOVA, the changes in mean SPIN were significantly higher in the neurofeedback group than in the non-neurofeedback group. Conclusions: a training program involving neurofeedback significantly improved the social phobia. Implications for practice: Consultants involved in social phobia patients care who are interested in complementary therapies should be encouraged to obtain learning in neurofeedback technique and teach patients’ families in clinical settings.


Neurofeedback, Training Program, Social Phobia Disorder, Fear of Negative Evaluation, Social Avoidance and Distress

Full Text:



American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-IVTR). 4th ed. Washington. DC: American Psychiatric Association, 2000: 676-85.

Antony MM, Coons MJ, McCabe RE, Ashbaugh A, Swinson RP. Psychometric properties of the social phobia inventory: Further evaluation. Behaviour Research and Therapy 2006; 44(8):1177-85.

Bagdasaryan J, Le Van Quyen M. Experiencing your brain: neurofeedback as a new bridge between neuroscience and phenomenology. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2013; 7: 680.

Biriukova EV, Timofeer LV, Mosolov, SN. Clinical and entropy physiological efficacy of neurofeedback. Moscow. Iteration a Journal of Nursing Sciences 2003; 9(2): 111-4.

Caviness JN, Hentz JG, Belden CM, Shill HA, Driver-Dunckley ED, Sabbagh MN, Powell JJ, Adler CH. Longitudinal EEG changes correlate with cognitive measure deterioration in Parkinson's disease. Journal of Parkinson's Disease 2015; 5(1):117-24.

Clark DM, McManus F. Information processing in social phobia. Biological Psychiatry 2002; 51(1):92-100.

Coelho HF, Cooper PJ, Murray L. A family study of co-morbidity between generalized social phobia and generalized anxiety disorder in a non-clinic sample. Journal of Affective Disorders 2007; 100(1):103-13.

Connor KM, Davidson JR, Churchill LE, Sherwood A, Weisler RH, FOA E. Psychometric properties of the social phobia inventory (SPIN). The British Journal of Psychiatry 2000; 176(4):379-86.

Den Boer JA. Social anxiety disorder/social phobia: epidemiology, diagnosis, neurobiology, and treatment. Comprehensive Psychiatry 2000; 41(6):405-15.

Hofmann SG. Cognitive factors that maintain social anxiety disorder: A comprehensive model and its treatment implications. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 2007; 36(4):193-209.

Oh HJ, Song GB. Effects of neurofeedback training on the brain wave of adults with forward head posture. Journal of physical therapy science 2016; 28(10):2938-41.

Othmer S, Kaiser D. EEG biofeedback; a generalized approach to neuroregulation, 1998.

Mansell W, Clark DM, Ehlers A, Chen YP. Social anxiety and attention away from emotional faces. Cognition & Emotion 1999; 13(6):673-90.

Marzbani H, Marateb HR, Mansourian M. Neurofeedback: a comprehensive review on system design, methodology and clinical applications. Basic and Clinical Neuroscience 2016; 7(2):143-58.

Moradi A, Pouladi F, Pishva N, Rezaei B, Torshabi M, Mehrjerdi ZA. Treatment of anxiety disorder with neurofeedback: case study. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 2011; 30:103-7.

Ruscio AM, Brown TA, Chiu WT, Sareen J, Stein MB, Kessler RC. Social fears and social phobia in the USA: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Psychological medicine 2008; 38(1):15-28.

Shanshan LI, Zichao CH. Effects of Neurofeedback Training on Dyslexic Students’ Aggression: An Experimental Study. NeuroQuantology 2017; 15(2): 269-76.

Smith JP, Book SW. Anxiety and substance use disorders: A review. The Psychiatric Times 2008; 25(10):19-23.

Spokas ME, Rodebaugh TL, Heimberg RG. Cognitive biases in social phobia. Psychiatry 2007; 6(5):204-10.

Staufenbiel SM, Brouwer AM, Keizer AW, Van Wouwe NC. Effect of beta and gamma neurofeedback on memory and intelligence in the elderly. Biological Psychology 2014; 95:74-85.

Surmeli T, Ertem A. QEEG guided neurofeedback therapy in personality disorders: 13 case studies. Clinical EEG and Neuroscience 2009; 40(1):5-10.

Tansey MA, Bruner RL. EMG and EEG biofeedback training in the treatment of a 10-year-old hyperactive boy with a developmental reading disorder. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback 1983; 8(1):25-37.

Toit PL, Stein DJ. Social anxiety disorder. In: Nutt D, Ballenger J. (editors). Anxiety disorders. Massachusett: Blackwell, 2002: 95-124.

Wang Z. Neurofeedback Training Intervention for Enhancing Working Memory Function in Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Chinese Students. NeuroQuantology 2017; 15(2): 277-283.

Watson D, Friend R. Measurement of social-evaluative anxiety. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 1969; 33(4):448.

Wells A, Papageorgiou C. Brief cognitive therapy for social phobia: a case series. Behaviour Research and Therapy 2001; 39(6):713-20.

Zilverstand A, Sorger B, Sarkheil P, Goebel R. fMRI neurofeedback facilitates anxiety regulation in females with spider phobia. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 2015; 9(148):1-12.

Supporting Agencies

Henan science and technology research project in 2015 - A comprehensive intervention study on non vascular vascular cognitive impairment (No. 152102310025).

| NeuroScience + QuantumPhysics> NeuroQuantology :: Copyright 2001-2019