- A review shows that eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has similar efficacy to cognitive behavioral therapy.
Why this matters
- Some children with PTSD get little benefit from psychotherapy.
- This analysis provides preliminary data that EMDR therapy could be an effective alternative, though more research is required.
- Meta-analysis of 8 studies (n=295).
- Funding: Centro de Investigacion Biomedica en Red de Salud Mental, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain, and the European Regional Development Fund.
- EMDR therapy led to a reduction in PTSD symptoms (d, −0.49; P=.013), with moderate heterogeneity (I2=52%; P=.072).
- The therapy also led to a reduction in anxiety symptoms (d, −0.44; P=.006), with no heterogeneity (I2=1%; P=.747).
- Depression symptoms also decreased with EMDR therapy, but the decline was not statistically significant (d, −0.27; P=.118), with no heterogeneity (I2=11%; P=.416).
- The analysis included a small number of trials.
- The studies used different control conditions.
- Some studies employed a small number of EMDR sessions.