Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and eating disorders: A systematic review


Eating disorders (EDs) are considered an emergency from a medical, health and social point of view in all Western countries. Alongside the great attention paid to the subject in public and social media, EDs are a source of perplexity both for the scientific community, which attempts to study the psychopathogenic processes and maintenance mechanisms of EDs and to monitor clinical interventions, and for clinicians, who often find themselves with patients who are difficult to deal with, reluctant to change and set up a solid therapeutic alliance, and included to drop out. This article aims to study the use of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of EDs through a process of systematic revision of the literature, after defining EDs theoretically, underlining a possible traumatic origin for their onset.

In order to carry out a systematic analysis of the literature, the following bibliographic databased were used: EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL. The time criteria were set from the beginning of records to February, 2017.

Despite noteworthy clinical suggestions, the scarcity thus far of the studies in the literature, and their methodological limitations, do not allow clear conclusions to be drawn with regard to EMDR's efficacy.

EMDR appears to be a promising approach, but further scientific evidence in support of its efficacy is required.






Marina Balbo
Maria Zaccagnino
Martina Cussino
Cristina Civilotti

Original Work Citation

Balbo, M., Zaccagnino, M., Cussino, M., Civilotti, C. (2017, October). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and eating disorders: A systematic review. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 14(5), 321-329



“Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and eating disorders: A systematic review,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 24, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/24700.

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