Investigating the effect of adding neurofeedback to the choice treatment (cognitive behavioral therapy and medication) on obsessive beliefs and early maladaptive schemas in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate professor of clinical psychology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, Iran.

3 MSc. in clinical psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education Science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.

4 MSc. in clinical psychology, Department of Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Introduction: This study aimed to investigate the effects of adding Neurofeedback Therapy (NFT) to taking medication (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: SSRIs) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) on Obsessive Beliefs (OBs) and Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMSs).
Materials and Methods: In this clinical trial conducted in Mashhad, Iran in 2019, 10 diagnosed OCD patients were selected using purposeful sampling. They were randomly assigned into equal two groups (group 1: NFT + SSRIs + CBT, group 2: SSRIs + CBT). They were evaluated using the Obsessive Beliefs Questionnaire (OBQ) and Young Schema Questionnaire-Short Form (YSQ) before intervention, on the 8th session, after treatment, and a two-month follow-up. Repeated-measures ANOVA tests were used for statistical analysis.
Results: There was a significant time × intervention effect for all fifteen EMSs (P< 0.05) and three OBs (P< 0.05); however, significant time × condition interaction has been seen for responsibility/threat estimation belief (P< 0.05) and abandonment, defectiveness/shame, enmeshment/undeveloped self, insufficient self-control/self-discipline, mistrust/abuse, subjugation, and social isolation/alienation, and unrelenting standards schemas (P< 0.05). We found no significant difference between treatment groups in EMSs and OBs.
Conclusion: The results showed that both treatment plans are effective in the reduction of obsessive beliefs and early maladaptive schemas; however, adding neurofeedback to standard therapy has not resulted in significant differences in reducing obsessive beliefs and early maladaptive schemas in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.


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