Electroencephalogram-based neurofeedback training in persons with stroke: A scoping review in occupational therapy

NeuroRehabilitation. 2021;48(1):9-18. doi: 10.3233/NRE-201579.


Background: Neurofeedback training targets the relevant brain response under minimal stress. It could be a promising approach for the treatment of patients with brain injury.

Objective: This review aimed to examine the existing literature to confirm the effectiveness of applied electroencephalogram (EEG)-based neurofeedback training in the area of occupational therapy for upper limb stroke rehabilitation.

Method: All relevant literature published until July 1, 2020 in five prominent databases (PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, MEDLINE Complete, and Web of Science) was reviewed, based on the five-step review framework proposed by Arksey and O'Malley.

Results: After a thorough review, a total of 14 studies were included in this review. Almost studies reported significant improvements as a result of EEG-based neurofeedback training, but this had not always account for the differences in effectiveness between groups. However, the results of these studies suggested that neurofeedback training was effective as compared to the traditional treatment and more effective in combination with EEG than that with simple equipment application.

Conclusion: This review demonstrated the effectiveness of the combination of occupational therapy and EEG-based neurofeedback training. Most of these treatments are intended for inpatients, but they may be more effective for outpatients, especially if customized to their requirements. Also, such explorations to assess the suitability of the treatment for patient rehabilitation will help reduce barriers to effective interventions. An analysis of the opinions of participants and experts through satisfaction surveys will be helpful.

Keywords: EEG-based neurofeedback training; occupational therapy; scoping review; stroke.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurofeedback / methods*
  • Occupational Therapy / methods*
  • Occupational Therapy / psychology
  • Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Stroke / psychology
  • Stroke Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation / psychology