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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 35-42

Exploring the Use of Neurofeedback by Cancer Survivors: Results of Interviews with Neurofeedback Providers and Clients

1 School of Nursing, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada
2 Trent Fleming School of Nursing, Trent University, Kingston, ON, Canada
3 Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Marian F Luctkar-Flude
School of Nursing, Queen's University, Kingston, ON
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/apjon.apjon_34_18

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Objective: Cancer survivors may experience persistent physical and psychological symptoms following completion of cancer treatment. Neurofeedback is a noninvasive form of brain training reported to help with symptoms including pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and cognitive decline; however, there is a lack of research exploring its use with cancer survivors. The objective of this study was to describe the experiences of neurofeedback and its impact on the lives of posttreatment cancer survivors as perceived by neurofeedback providers and cancer survivor clients. Methods: This qualitative descriptive study employed semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis of interview transcripts. A convenience sample of twelve neurofeedback providers and five cancer survivor clients participated in this study. Results: Thematic analysis revealed seven overarching themes as follows: (1) paying it forward; (2) transforming lives; (3) regaining control; (4) brain healing itself; (5) comforting experience, (6) accessibility, and (7) failure to respond. The first five themes related to benefits of neurofeedback, and the final two related to challenges of using neurofeedback with cancer survivors. Conclusions: Results support the use of neurofeedback to improve quality of life for cancer survivors; however, more research is needed to determine which neurofeedback systems and protocols are most effective for this population with persistent symptoms.

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