EMDR in patients with psychotic disorder and comorbid PTSD: Preliminary conclusions from a pilot study

Description

Introduction: The role of trauma in psychosis has been established. Moreover, PTSD is more prevalent in patients with psychosis than in the general population. Initial studies have shown that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be effectively treated in patients with a psychotic disorder. However, these studies used adapted treatment protocols, avoided direct exposure to trauma related stimuli or preceded treatment with stabilising techniques making treatment considerably longer in duration.

Method: An open trial in which adult subjects with a psychotic disorder and a comorbid PTSD (N=27) received a maximum of six eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy sessions. PTSD symptoms, psychotic symptoms and additional symptoms were assessed at baseline and end-of-treatment.

Results: The dropout rate was 18.5 per cent (five subjects). Only five of the 22 completers (22.7 per cent) still met criteria for PTSD after treatment. PTSD symptoms, auditory verbal hallucinations, delusions, anxiety, depression, and self-esteem all improved significantly. Paranoid ideation and feelings of hopelessness did not improve. Treatment did not lead to symptom exacerbation. There were no adverse events, such as suicide attempts, self-mutilation, aggressive behaviour or admission to a general or psychiatric hospital.

Conclusions: This pilot study shows that a short EMDR therapy is effective and safe in the treatment of PTSD in subjects with a psychotic disorder. Treatment of PTSD has a positive effect on other symptoms. EMDR can be applied to this group of patients without adapting the treatment protocol or delaying treatment by preceding it with stabilising interventions.

Format

Conference

Language

English

Author(s)

David P. G. van den Berg

Original Work Citation

van den Berg, D.P.G. (2012, December). EMDR in patients with psychotic disorder and comorbid PTSD: Preliminary conclusions from a pilot study. In Current research on eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) (Robin Logie, Chair). Symposium presented at the Division of Clinical Psychology Annual Conference, Oxford, UK

Collection

Citation

“EMDR in patients with psychotic disorder and comorbid PTSD: Preliminary conclusions from a pilot study,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed May 28, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22427.

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