Efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of specific phobias: Four single-case studies in dental phobia
Objectives: Several years ago a new treatment for anxiety related problems was introduced, named Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR combines short exposure periods with an external distracting stimulus. The aim of this study was to examine the applicability of EMDR to trauma-based dental phobia. Methods: EMDR treatment outcome was tested with four dental phobic individuals by means of a single-subject experimental design. Pretreatment assessment included: severity of dental fear (DAS), trauma-related symptomatology (IES), occurrence and believability of negative cognitions (DCQ), and general psychopathology (SCL-90-R). A psychologist administered a clinical interview and a behavior test. Behavior tests were videotaped and rated for observed anxiety level (0-10) by a blind and independent observer. Results: Following two to three sessions of EMDR treatment three of the four patients demonstrated substantially reduced self-reported and observer-rated anxiety, reduced credibility of dysfunctional beliefs, and behavior changes. These gains were maintained at six weeks follow-up. In all four cases the clinical diagnosis present at pretreatment was not present at posttreatment at a clinical level. All patients actually underwent the dental treatment they feared most within three weeks following EMDR treatment. Conclusion: The findings support the notion that EMDR can be an effective treatment alternative for traumatically induced dental phobia.
Original Work Citation
de Jongh, A., & van den Oord, H. J. M. (2002). Efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of specific phobias: Four single-case studies in dental phobia. Presentation at the 80th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research, San Diego, CA
“Efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of specific phobias: Four single-case studies in dental phobia,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed January 20, 2022, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/19255.