Hintergrund: Biofeedbackverfahren haben sich für unterschiedliche psychische und somatische Erkrankungen als wirksam erwiesen. Für depressive Störungen als weitver-breitetes Störungsbild liegen mittlerweile zwar mehrere Studienergebnisse vor, die Bewertung der wissenschaftlichen Evidenz ist jedoch weiterhin ausstehend. Material und Methoden: Eine systematische Literaturrecherche wurde in den Datenbanken PubMed, PsycINFO und CINAHL mit den Begriffen “Neurofeedback” oder “Biofeedback” und “Depression” durchgeführt. Von den insgesamt 971 identifizierten Publikationen gingen nach Durchsicht 12 in die Arbeit ein. Ergebnisse: Die Effektstärken lagen für den Vergleich Prä- versus Post-Intervention bei einer Range von 0,31 bis 4,08 und für den Vergleich zwischen Biofeedback und Kontrollgruppe bei –0,77 bis 2,38 für beide Arten des angewendeten Feedbacktrainings: Neurofeedback und Feedback der Herzratenvariabilität. Beinhalteten Kontrollinterventionen Entspannungstechniken oder Placebo-Feedback, zeigten sich auch hier überraschend gute Ergebnisse. Diskussion: Die Aussagekraft der Ergebnisse wird gemindert durch meist kleine Stichproben, nur wenige Katamnesedaten und vor dem Hintergrund von nur drei Studien mit festgestellt ge-ringem Verzerrungsrisiko. Dies in die Interpretation einbezogen, sind die Studienergebnisse jedoch immer noch beachtlich gut. Schlussfolgerungen: Symptomverbesserungen mit teilweise hohen Effektstärken zeigen, dass Biofeedbackverfahren für die Behandlung von depressiven Störungen eventuell geeignete Methoden sind. Unspezifische Wirkfaktoren wie Entspannungs- und Erwartungseffekte gilt es unbedingt zu berücksichtigen. Eine vielversprechende Perspektive könnte die Kombination aus verhaltenstherapeutischem Ansatz und Feedbacktraining sein.

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