The utility of electromyographic biofeedback in the treatment of conversion paralysis

D. A. Fishbain, M. Goldberg, T. M. Khalil, S. S. Asfour, E. Abdel-Moty, B. R. Meagher, R. Santana, R. S. Rosomoff, H. L. Rosomoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Conversion paralysis has a poor prognosis when there is evidence of nonresponse to previous treatment, long duration, and secondary atrophy of the 'paralyzed' muscles. The authors present four such cases in which conversion paralysis was treated successfully by means of electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback. Each of the four patients also suffered from a chronic pain condition. Results from statistical analyses indicated that the four patients demonstrated significant improvement in the functional capacity of the 'paralyzed' muscles as measured by isometric maximum voluntary contraction and EMG activity. The improvements occurred without explicit psychotherapy and suggest that behavioral modification techniques alone may be helpful in such cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1572-1575
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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