A five-day inpatient EMDR treatment programme for PTSD:  Pilot study

为期5天的住院病人的 用EMDR 治疗PTSD程序:一个试研究

Un programa de tratamiento EMDR para el TEPT de 5 días para pacientes hospitalizados: Estudio piloto


Trauma-focused psychotherapies for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been demonstrated to be efficacious, but also have considerable non-response and dropout rates. Intensive treatment may lead to faster symptom reduction, which may contribute to treatment motivation and thereby to reduction of dropout.

The aim of the current study was to investigate the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of an intensive five-day inpatient treatment with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and trauma-informed yoga for patients with PTSD.

A non-controlled pilot study with 12 adult patients with PTSD was conducted. At baseline the PTSD diagnosis was assessed with the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5) and comorbid disorders with the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Primary outcome was self-reported PTSD symptom severity (PTSD Check List for DSM-5; PCL-5) measured at the beginning of day 1 (T1), at the end of day 5 (T2) and at follow-up on day 21 (T3). Reliable change indexes (RCI) and clinically significant changes were calculated.

From T1 to T3, PTSD symptoms significantly improved with a large effect size (Cohen’s d = 0.91). Nine of the 11 patients who completed treatment showed reliable changes in terms of self-reported PTSD. At T3, two of the patients no longer met criteria for PTSD as measured with the PCL-5. One patient dropped out after the first day. No serious adverse events occurred.

The majority of patients in our pilot study experienced symptom reduction consistent with reliable changes in this five-day inpatient treatment with EMDR and yoga. Randomized controlled trials – with longer follow up periods – are needed to properly determine efficacy and efficiency of intensive clinical treatments for PTSD compared to regular treatment. This is one of the first studies to show that intensive EMDR treatment is feasible and is indicative of reliable improvement in PTSD symptoms in a very short time frame.






Mayaris Zepeda Méndez
Mirjam J. Nijdam
F. Jackie June ter Heide
Niels van der Aa
Miranda Olff

Original Work Citation

Méndez, M. Z., Nidam, M. J., ter Heide, F. J. J., van de Aa, N., & Olff, M. (2018, February). A five-day inpatient EMDR treatment programme for PTSD: Pilot study. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 9(1), 1425575. doi:10.1080/20008198.2018.1425575



“A five-day inpatient EMDR treatment programme for PTSD:  Pilot study为期5天的住院病人的 用EMDR 治疗PTSD程序:一个试研究Un programa de tratamiento EMDR para el TEPT de 5 días para pacientes hospitalizados: Estudio piloto,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed April 12, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/24991.

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