Using a Neuro-Ecological Approach: Individualized Neurofeedback for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder
Substance use disorder (SUD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are continuing concerns for the United States. While treatment options are increasing, researchers are still searching for alternative interventions. In addition, individuals with AUD may experience an increase in drinking and craving due to the pandemic (Da et al., 2020). Most AUD treatments do not utilize brain-based, behavioral methods such as neurofeedback. Neurofeedback research displays positive outcomes for individuals with AUD; however, assessing motivation, cravings, and session data are sparse in literature. In this quantitative study, participants with AUD received neurofeedback 12 sessions reducing their symptoms. The purpose of this study is to explore SUD/AUD literature and how the Self-Determination theory and Neuro-ecological Theory may be valuable viewpoints for exploring neurofeedback. I utilized six research questions in this quasi-experimental study. Questions 1-3 examined pre and post scores resulting from qEEG data, Heart Rate Variability data, the Alcohol and Drug Consequences Questionnaire (ADCQ; Cunningham et al., 1997), and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT; Saunders et al., 1993), which also included a follow-up time point. Research question five examines craving over time and question six explores neurofeedback session data. Data analyses included descriptive outcomes with SPSS and built-in analyses software for EEG and HRV data. Other data analysis consisted of online data software for non-overlap scores and simulation modeling analysis. The hypotheses all state that the post scores would show improvements from the neurofeedback treatment. I provide a discussion of the results and implications for the fields of neurofeedback and counseling.