This pilot study evaluated the effectiveness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and concomitant depressive and anxiety symptoms in survivors of life-threatening cardiac events. Forty-two patients undergoing cardiac rehabilitation who (a) qualified for the PTSD criterion “A” in relation to a cardiac event and (b) presented clinically significant PTSD symptoms were randomized to a 4-week treatment of EMDR or imaginal exposure (IE). Data were gathered on PTSD, anxiety, and depressive symptoms at pretreatment, posttreatment, and 6-month follow-up. EMDR was effective in reducing PTSD, depressive, and anxiety symptoms and performed significantly better than IE for all variables. These findings provide preliminary support for EMDR as an effective treatment for the symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety that can follow a life-threatening cardiac event.
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- Go to article: Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Burdens Among Jordanian Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Purpose: To assess the levels and prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress and to identify factors associated with these emotions among Jordanian patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Methods: This descriptive study recruited 149 participants through a convenience sampling technique. Depression, anxiety, and stress burdens were measured through Arabic short version of Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21; Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995). Results: There were 28.8%, 49.5%, and 33.5% of participants who had moderate-to-extremely severe levels of depression, anxiety, and stress, respectively. The depression, anxiety, and stress burdens were associated with patients’ gender and educational level, and the highest level of depression, anxiety, and stress burdens levels were associated with the presence of diabetes complications and other chronic illness. Conclusion: The findings from this study can guide the health providers to address psychological status for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in their care plans.
- Go to article: Randomized Controlled Trial: Provision of EMDR Protocol for Recent Critical Incidents and Ongoing Traumatic Stress to First Responders
Randomized Controlled Trial: Provision of EMDR Protocol for Recent Critical Incidents and Ongoing Traumatic Stress to First Responders
This randomized controlled trial aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Protocol for Recent Critical Incidents and Ongoing Traumatic Stress (EMDR-PRECI) in reducing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression symptoms related to the work of first responders on active duty. Participants were randomly assigned to two 60-minute individual treatment sessions (N = 30) or to a no-treatment control condition (N = 30). They completed pre-, post-, and follow-up measurements using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) (PCL-5) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Data analysis by repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed clear effects of the EMDR-PRECI in reducing PTSD work-related symptoms in the treatment group with symptom reduction maintained at 90-day follow-up with a large effect size (d = 3.99), while participants continued to experience direct exposure to potentially traumatic work-related events during the follow-up period. Data analysis by repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between time and group, F (2,116) = 153.83, p < .001, ηP2 = .726 for PTSD, and for anxiety F (1,58) = 37.40, p < .005, ηP2 = .090, but not for depression. A t-test showed a clear decrease for depression symptoms for the treatment group with statistically significant results. The study results suggest that the EMDR-PRECI could be an efficient and effective way to address first responders' work-related PTSD, anxiety and depression symptoms. Future research is recommended to replicate these results and to investigate if symptom improvement also results in the reduction of physical health symptoms and early retirement for PTSD-related reasons among first responders.
- Go to article: Use of EMDR-Derived Self-Help Intervention in Children in the Period of COVID-19: A Randomized-Controlled Study
Use of EMDR-Derived Self-Help Intervention in Children in the Period of COVID-19: A Randomized-Controlled Study
Self-help treatments are an important intervention tool, with high accessibility and ease of application. To our knowledge, no research has previously been conducted on any self-help intervention derived from eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. In this study, we evaluated the mental health status of children not directly affected by the pandemic and investigated the effects of using an EMDR-derived self-help intervention in children as a low-intensity treatment. The mental health status of 178 children was evaluated online via the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAIC) and Childhood Posttraumatic Stress Reaction Index (CPTS-RI). Then, children were randomly assigned to intervention and waitlist. A booklet containing EMDR-derived techniques was sent via the school online portal and the intervention was conducted. Posttests were administered 4 weeks later. The attrition rate was 45.5%, with 97 children completing the trial (intervention: 52; waitlist: 45). At baseline, 76.4% of children showed posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) above threshold. Results showed a statistically significant decrease in the posttest PTSS scores for the intervention group compared to waitlist. The intervention group had significant pre–post improvement on all but one subscale, while the waitlist group showed a significant increase in state anxiety on the STAIC. In conclusion, posttraumatic stress was found to be high in children during the COVID-19 outbreak period, and EMDR-derived self-help intervention appeared to be an effective psychosocial intervention tool.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a form of psychotherapy used for individuals who have experienced stress-related injuries. Having an unpleasant experience of previous childbirth can cause anxiety and fear of labor in women during the next childbirth. The aim of this study was investigating the effect of the EMDR therapy on childbirth anxiety among multiparous women in the next normal pregnancy, following a prior stillbirth. A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted with 30 pregnant women after they were admitted for delivery in an urban hospital in Qazvin, Iran, in 2016. The participants were selected using a convenient sampling method and then were randomly assigned into two groups, EMDR intervention (n = 15) and usual treatment control (n = 15). The Van den Bergh Pregnancy-Related Anxiety questionnaire was used to collect data before treatment (on admission when recruited for study) and after treatment (within 24 hours after childbirth). The EMDR therapy for the intervention group was performed with a 90-minute session when participants were admitted in hospital for delivery. The control group received only routine care. Data were collected using descriptive and inferential statistics and p < .05 was considered statistically significant. A statistically significant reduction in the mean anxiety in the EMDR intervention group compared to the control group was reported. Also, a reduction in the scores of posttest compared with pretest was observed in the EMDR intervention group (p < .01). The EMDR therapy reduced childbirth anxiety in pregnant women during normal pregnancy, following previous stillbirth.
- Go to article: Randomized Controlled Trial on the Provision of the EMDR Integrative Group Treatment Protocol Adapted for Ongoing Traumatic Stress to Female Patients With Cancer-Related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms
Randomized Controlled Trial on the Provision of the EMDR Integrative Group Treatment Protocol Adapted for Ongoing Traumatic Stress to Female Patients With Cancer-Related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms
This randomized controlled trial extended the investigation previously conducted by Jarero et al. (2015) which found that the eye movement desensitization and reprocessing Integrative Group Treatment Protocol adapted for ongoing traumatic stress (EMDR-IGTP-OTS) was effective in reducing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms related to the diagnosis and treatment of different types of cancer in adult women. The current study sought to determine if the results could be replicated and if the treatment would also be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Participants in treatment (N = 35) and no-treatment control (N = 30) groups completed pre, post, and follow-up measurements using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5) (PCL-5) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Data analysis by repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that the EMDR-IGTP-OTS was effective in significantly reducing symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression, with symptoms maintained at 90-day follow-up and with large effect sizes (e.g., d = 1.80). A comparison of the treatment and no-treatment control groups showed significantly greater decreases for the treatment group on symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression. No significant correlation was found when exploring the relationship between scores on the Adverse Life Experiences scale and scores indicating pretreatment severity of PTSD, anxiety, and depression. This study suggests that EMDR-IGTP-OTS may be an efficient and effective way to address cancer-related posttraumatic, depressive, and anxious symptoms.
- Go to article: Effects of the EMDR Couple Protocol on Relationship Satisfaction, Depression, and Anxiety Symptoms
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of the eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) Couple Protocol on the relationship-satisfaction, depression, and anxiety levels of couples. This protocol differs from standard EMDR procedures in that the partners are together in the treatment session, and engage in bidirectional stimulation simultaneously. The treatment targets are disturbing events that the couples have experienced together. Couples have the opportunity to accept, recognize, and witness each other's recovery process during the session. The EMDR Couple Protocol consists of eight phases, and it was developed for couples wanting to improve their relationship. The study sample consisted of 18 couples suitable for the application of the EMDR Couple Protocol. Treatment was provided by an EMDR Europe Level 2 EMDR psychotherapist to the couples. The mean number of sessions was 14.27 ± 4.04. The couples showed significant improvement between pre-EMDR, post-EMDR, and at three months follow-up with large effect sizes for relationship satisfaction (η² = 0.944), depression (η² = 0.385), and anxiety (η² = 0.258). The present study evaluating the effectiveness of the EMDR Couple Protocol showed a positive effect on the relationship-satisfaction, depression and anxiety symptoms of the couples. The EMDR Couple Protocol appeared to be safe and effective.
- Go to article: Ethical Conduct of Laboratory Experimental Research on Fear and Anxiety: Review and Recommendations
Experimental research concerning fear and anxiety often involves exposing human subjects to fear-cue stimuli. Several aspects of fear-cue exposure may generate ethical concerns on the part of institutional review boards (IRBs) charged with protecting human research participants from harm. The goal of this article is to provide researchers with a framework for effectively addressing ethical concerns raised by some fear and anxiety research. We highlight the ethical considerations raised by fear-cue exposure procedures, review the extant research literature relevant to these concerns, make recommendations on how to address IRB ethical concerns, and recommend various research strategies that might clarify the impact (positive or negative) of fear-cue exposures on human subjects participating in anxiety research. IRBs may raise a variety of important concerns about fear-cue exposure research. Some of these concerns can be addressed by adequate justification within the IRB protocol using existing research findings. Further research is needed to address a variety of potential ethical concerns. Such research may help address concerns regarding research involving fear-cue exposure.
Most of the empirical evidence supporting the efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has been with individuals suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This case study reports on the successful treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in a 13-year-old male using the standard three-pronged approach of EMDR in a private practice setting. The current protocol addressed the initial touchstone event, the current level of distress related to that event, as well as anticipation and planning for future feared events. The participant received 15 sessions of EMDR. At 90-day posttreatment follow-up, there was a substantial decrease in OCD symptoms (from moderate to subclinical) as measured by the Children’s Yale-Brown Obsessive–Compulsive Scale, indicating a large effect size (d = 0.81). The current study provides insight into treating OCD in adolescence and how using the three-pronged approach (past, present, and future) of EMDR can be an effective tool. Study limitations and suggestions for future clinical research are discussed.
- Go to article: EMDR and Nonpharmacological Techniques for Anxiety Prevention in Children Prior to Invasive Medical Procedures: A Randomized Controlled Trial
EMDR and Nonpharmacological Techniques for Anxiety Prevention in Children Prior to Invasive Medical Procedures: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Nonpharmacological Techniques (NPT) have been suggested as an efficient and safe means to reduce pain and anxiety in invasive medical procedures. Due to the anxious and potentially traumatic nature of these procedures, we decided to integrate an eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) session in the preprocedure NPT. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of one session of EMDR in addition to the routine NPT. Forty-nine pediatric patients (Male = 25; Female = 24) aged 8–18 years (M = 13.17; SD = 2.98) undergoing painful and invasive medical procedures were randomized to receive standard preprocedural care (N = 25) or a session of EMDR in addition to the standard nonpharmacological interventions (N = 24). Participants completed the anxiety and depression scales from the Italian Psychiatric Self-evaluation Scale for Children and Adolescents (SAFA) and rated anxiety on a 0–10 numeric rating scale. Participants in the NPT+EMDR condition expressed significantly less anxiety before the medical procedure than those in the NPT group (p = .038). The integration of EMDR with NPT was demonstrated to be an effective anxiety prevention technique for pediatric sedo-analgesia. These results are the first data on the efficacy of EMDR as a technique to prevent anxiety in pediatric sedo-analgesia. There are important long-term clinical implications because this therapy allows an intervention on situations at risk of future morbidity and the prevention of severe disorders.