Clinical efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has gained notoriety as a brief treatment for PTSD. In EMDR, clients repeatedly bring up traumatic events in memory and visually track stimuli moving back and forth in front of them. Previous group studies of EMDR have had methodological problems, however. The present study attempted to (1) assess EMDR's effectiveness compared to an Eye Focus treatment controlling for eye movement; (2) compare both treatments to a wait-list control; and (3) rate therapist characteristics to check experimenter bias.20 participants suffering from PTSD were randomly assigned to either EMDR or Eye Focus (EF) treatments, and immediate treatment or wait-list conditions. After two 90-minute treatment sessions, outcomes were assessed on subjective measures of anxiety (SUDs) and cognitive beliefs (VOCs). The mean SUDs pre-post differences on matched pairs t-tests indicated significant reduction of disturbance for both the EMDR group, p .05. A significant interaction F (2, 18) = 6.69, p .05. The MPSS also showed a main effect for treatment, F (2, 18) = 6.46, p .05. This interaction was not significant, p =.10. Further, both EMDR and EF groups demonstrated improvement on the MPSS. Results suggest that (1) EMDR and Eye Focus are both effective in reducing some self-reported PTSD symptoms; (2) EMDR and Eye Focus scores improved significantly compared to wait-list; and (3) ratings of experimenter bias suggested that the EMDR and Eye Focus participants were treated equally by the therapist. Future comparison studies should use larger samples, independent assessors, and equally-trained independent therapists.
Original Work Citation
Opdyke, D. C. (1996, May). Clinical efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 56(11-B), 6402
“Clinical efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed April 7, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/17584.