EMDR vs. CBT for disaster-exposed children: A controlled study


In May 2000 a firework depot exploded in the city of Enschede (The Netherlands), leaving 22 people dead, 947 injured, more than 500 houses destroyed, and about 1500 houses significantly damaged. In total 4,163 people were affected, including many children and adolescents. Children with chronic posttraumatic stress reactions were referred for treatment to the Ambultant Mental Health Care team in Enschede. A randomized controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the relative efficacy of EMDR versus a CBT approach for reducing children’s symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety and behavior problems. All participants treated from 2001 to 2003 were included. They received 4 sessions EMDR or 4 sessions CBT. Moreover, four sessions of parent guidance were included in both groups. The final N was 53 children (age 3-18). Assessment took place prior to the intervention, immediately after the intervention and at 3 months follow-up. The main outcome measures were: UCLA PTSD Index (parent, child and adolescent version), Child Report of Post-traumatic Symptoms (CROPS), the Parent Report of Post-traumatic Symptoms (PROPS), the Problem Rating Scale (PRS), the Birleson Depression Scale and the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASQ, anxiety). Also parent-reported psychosocial dysfunction and teacher-reported problems were assessed (Child Behavior Check List: parent form and teacher form and for children aged 11 and older: self report form). For the youngest group (0-6 years) the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Young Children (TSCYC) was included.






Carlijn de Roos
Ricky Greenwald
Eric Noorthoorn
Ad de Jongh

Original Work Citation

de Roos, C., Greenwald, R., Noorthoorn, E., & de Jongh, A. (2004, November). EMDR vs. CBT for disaster-exposed children: A controlled study. Presentation at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 20th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA



“EMDR vs. CBT for disaster-exposed children: A controlled study,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed November 25, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/18984.

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