Alpha-Stim AID cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) anxiety treatment: anxiety, depression, and health-related quality-of-life outcomes in primary healthcare social prescribing services

Chris Griffiths, Ksenija Maravic da Silva, Harmony Jiang, Kate Walker, David Smart, Azhar Zafar, Sarah Deeks, Sinead Galvin, Taz Shah

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This study aims to evaluate the effect of Alpha-Stim Anxiety, Insomnia and Depression (AID) cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) on anxiety, depression and health-related quality of life for primary care social prescribing service patients with anxiety symptoms.

Open-label patient cohort design with no control group. A total of 33 adult patients (average age 42 years) completed six weeks of Alpha-Stim AID use. Pre- and post-intervention assessment with participant self-report measures: Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) and European Quality of Life Five Dimension (EQ-5D-5L).

Reliable improvement and remission rates, respectively, were 53.39% and 33.3% for GAD-7; 46.7% and 29.5% for PHQ-9. There was a significant improvement in GAD-7 and PHQ-9 with large effect sizes. EQ-5D-5L results showed significant improvements in health-related quality of life. Perceived quality of life increased by 0.17 on the health index score, with the intervention adding 1.68 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs).

Practical implications
Alpha-Stim AID can be delivered through a primary health-care social prescribing service and most patients will use as prescribed and complete treatment course. Alpha-Stim AID CES may be an effective anxiety and depression treatment for people with anxiety symptoms. The widespread roll-out of Alpha-Stim AID in health-care systems should be considered.

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to respond to the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care (NICE) request for the collection of real-world data to understand better Alpha-Stim AID in relation to people’s treatment uptake, response rates and treatment completion rates (NICE, 2021).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-349
Number of pages13
JournalMental Health Review Journal
Issue number4
Early online date25 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

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This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.


Funding was provided by East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (EMAHSN).


  • Alpha-Stim
  • Anxiety
  • Co-morbidity
  • Cranial electrotherapy stimulation
  • Depression
  • Primary care
  • Quality of life
  • Service delivery
  • Social prescribing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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