A meta-analytic review of exposure therapy and EMDR in the treatment of adult PTSD
Eye movement desensitization (EMDR) and exposure therapies (e.g. prolonged exposure therapy) have both been recommended as first-line treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, relatively little is known about the comparative efficacy of the two types of treatments. To date, the few studies that have been conducted have small sample sizes, making it difficult to draw conclusions. The goal of the current study was to use meta-analytic techniques to synthesize the existing data on the relative efficacy of exposure therapies and EMDR. Through a comprehensive literature search, we identified six randomized control trials that met our inclusion criteria. We calculated Hedges g effect sizes for the continuous variables (positive values favor exposure therapies) and risk ratios (RRs) for dichotomous variables (values greater than one favor exposure therapies). EMDR and exposure therapies did not differ significantly on clinician-rated PTSD (g = 0.32), self-report PTSD (g = -0.08), selfreport depression (g = -0.01), loss of PTSD diagnosis (RR = 1.46), or dropout (RR = 0.79). However, higher-quality studies (based on Foa & Meadows’ 1997 criteria) consistently favored exposure therapies. Clinical implications will be discussed
Original Work Citation
Kehle, S., Polusny, M., & Meis, L. (2009, November). A meta-analytic review of exposure therapy and EMDR in the treatment of adult PTSD. Presentation at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 25th Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA
“A meta-analytic review of exposure therapy and EMDR in the treatment of adult PTSD,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 28, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/19490.