Reducing posttraumatic stress in parents of patients with a rare inherited metabolic disorder using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy: A case study

Description

Background:
Parents of children with severe inborn errors of metabolism (IEMs) frequently face stressful events related to the disease of their child and are consequently at high risk for developing parental posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Assessment and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in these parents is however not yet common in clinical practice. PTSD can be effectively treated by Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), mostly offered in multiple weekly sessions which may preclude participation as parents are generally overburdened by the ongoing and intensive care for their child. We offered time-limited EMDR therapy with a maximum of four sessions over two subsequent days to two parents (from different families) of mucopolysaccharidosis type III (MPS III) patients to explore the potential effect of this approach in reducing post-traumatic stress symptoms and comorbid psychological distress.

Methods:
Both qualitative and quantitative outcomes were used. The case conceptualisation, EMDR sessions and the effects reported by parents are described. The change in the severity of post-traumatic stress symptoms and comorbid psychological distress were evaluated with the Reliable Change Index (RCI).

Results: 
All traumatic memories and catastrophic fears of the future reported by parents were successfully processed and neutralized. Parents felt more competent to face future diculties related to the disease of their child, and no adverse effects were reported. Quantitative outcomes showed a clinically signicant decrease in post-traumatic stress symptoms and comorbid psychological distress from pre- to post treatment, and these benecial effects were maintained at follow-up.

Conclusion: 
Time-limited EMDR might be a successful treatment for traumatized parents of children with mucopolysaccharidosis type III, and we suggest that this approach may have a wider application including parents of children with other severe IEMs. More awareness in clinical practice of the need for assessment and treatment of PTSD in parents of children with IEMs is essential to improve the psychosocial wellbeing of both parent and child.

Format

Journal

Language

English

Author(s)

Thirsa Conijn
Lotte Haverman
Frits A Wijburg
Carlijn de Roos

Original Work Citation

Conijn, T., Haverman, L., Wijburg, F. A., & de Roos, C. (2020, August). Reducing posttraumatic stress in parents of patients with a rare inherited metabolic disorder using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy: A case study.  Orphanet Journal of Rare Disease. doi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-63490/v1

Collection

Citation

“Reducing posttraumatic stress in parents of patients with a rare inherited metabolic disorder using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy: A case study,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed May 14, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/26549.

Output Formats