Is the eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing integrative group treatment protocol (EMDR-IGTP) effective for UK military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder? A pilot study

Description

Background
Armed forces personnel frequently witness traumatic events and suffer the consequences of involvement in combat. Improving treatment of post-traumatic stress and related problems for Veterans of these conflicts is important to optimise recovery for survivors. Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy that has been shown to be an effective trauma treatment for military Veterans, while the EMDR-Integrative Group Treatment Protocol (EMDR-IGTP) has been used in many trials with civilian samples, with good results. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the EMDR-IGTP in reducing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in military Veterans in the United Kingdom. The study was conducted in 2019 as part of a professional doctorate, and 36 participants met the inclusion criteria.

Methods
The EMDR-IGTP protocol was used with six groups of military Veterans in the United Kingdom. Each group met once a week for six sessions with the groups running consecutively. Questionnaires were completed by participants at every session, and 36 participants took part, with only two not completing the intervention.

Results
The EMDR-IGTP resulted in clinically significant reductions in PTSD symptoms for most participants, with a clinically significant decrease in scores on the PCL-5 (p < .001, d = 2.72), and clinically significant reductions in symptoms of depression scores on the PHQ-9 (p < .001, d = 1.98), anxiety scores on the GAD-7 (p < .001, d = 2.54), and clinically significant improvement in social functioning on the WSAS p <.001, d = 1.40). 2

Limitations
This was a small study with self-selecting participants, with no follow-up data, without a control or comparator group and conducted by the same experienced therapist.

Conclusions
The EMDR-IGTP had a statistically significant effect on symptoms of PTSD, depression and anxiety, for this small group of military Veterans. These findings provide preliminary evidence for a novel, cost-effective way of treating Veterans with PTSD, paving the way for larger-scale studies.

Funding
Some of this work was supported by the Veterans’ Foundation, to enable the candidate to train in the specific EMDR-IGTP protocol used for the treatment intervention.

Format

Dissertation//Thesis

Language

English

Collection

Citation

“Is the eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing integrative group treatment protocol (EMDR-IGTP) effective for UK military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder? A pilot study,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed December 8, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/27002.

Output Formats