An Educational Program for Remote Training and Supervision of Home-Based Transcranial Electrical Stimulation: Feasibility and Preliminary Effectiveness

Davide Cappon*, Tim den Boer, Wanting Yu, Nicole LaGanke, Rachel Fox, Marina Brozgol, Jeffrey M. Hausdorff, Brad Manor, Alvaro Pascual-Leone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: There has been recent interest in the administration of transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) by a caregiver, family member, or patient themselves while in their own homes (HB-tES). The need to properly train individuals in the administration of HB-tES is essential, and the lack of a uniform training approach across studies has come to light. The primary aim of this paper is to present the HB-tES training and supervision program, a tele-supervised, instructional, and evaluation program to teach laypersons how to administer HB-tES to a participant and to provide a standardized framework for remote monitoring of participants by teaching staff. The secondary aim is to present early pilot data on the feasibility and effectiveness of the training portion of the program based on its implementation in 379 sessions between two pilot clinical trials. Materials and Methods: The program includes instructional materials, standardized tele-supervised hands-on practice sessions, and a system for remote supervision of participants by teaching staff. Nine laypersons completed the training program. Data on the feasibility and effectiveness of the program were collected. Results: No adverse events were reported during the training or any of the HB-tES sessions after the training. All laypersons successfully completed the training. The nine laypersons reported being satisfied with the training program and confident in their tES administration capabilities. This was consistent with laypersons requiring technical assistance from teaching staff very infrequently during the 379 completed sessions. The average adherence rate between all administrators was >98%, with seven of nine administrators having 100% adherence to the scheduled sessions. Conclusions: These findings indicate that the HB-tES program is effective and is associated with participant satisfaction. Significance: We hope that the remote nature of this training program will facilitate increased accessibility to HB-tES research for participants of different demographics and locations. This program, designed for easy adaptation to different HB-tES research applications and devices, also is accessible online. The adoption of this program is expected to facilitate uniformity of study methods among future HB-tES studies and thereby accelerate the pace of tES intervention discovery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuromodulation
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Home-based
  • noninvasive brain stimulation
  • remote training
  • telehealth
  • telesupervision
  • transcranial alternating stimulation
  • transcranial direct current stimulation
  • transcranial electrical stimulation

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