Francine Shapiro Library: EMDR Bibliography
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1. ter Heide, F. J. J., Mooren, T. M., Kleijn, W., de Jongh, A., & Kleber, R. J. (2011, August). EMDR versus stabilisation in traumatised asylum seekers and refugees: Results of a pilot study. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 2, 5881. doi:10.3402/ejpt.v2i0.5881.
Background: Traumatised asylum seekers and refugees are clinically considered a complex population. Discussion exists on whether with this population treatment guidelines for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) should be followed and Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT) or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) should be applied, or whether a phased model starting with stabilisation is preferable. Some clinicians fear that trauma-focused interventions may lead to unmanageable distress or may be ineffective. While cognitive-behavioural interventions have been found to be effective with traumatised refugees, no studies concerning the efficacy of EMDR with this population have been conducted as yet. Objective: In preparation for a randomised trial comparing EMDR and stabilisation with traumatised refugees, a pilot study with 20 participants was conducted. The objective was to examine feasibility of participation in a randomised trial for this complex population and to examine acceptability and preliminary efficacy of EMDR. Design: Participants were randomly allocated to 11 sessions of either EMDR or stabilisation. Symptoms of PTSD (SCID-I, HTQ), depression and anxiety (HSCL-25), and quality of life (WHOQOL-BREF) were assessed at pre- and post-treatment and 3-month follow-up. Results: Participation of traumatised refugees in the study was found feasible, although issues associated with complex traumatisation led to a high pre-treatment attrition and challenges in assessments. Acceptability of EMDR was found equal to that of stabilisation with a high drop-out for both conditions. No participants dropped out of the EMDR condition because of unmanageable distress. While improvement for EMDR participants was small, EMDR was found to be no less efficacious than stabilisation. Different symptom courses between the two conditions, with EMDR showing some improvement and stabilisation showing some deterioration between pre-treatment and post-treatment, justify the conduct of a full trial. Conclusion: With some adaptations in study design, inclusion of a greater sample is justifiable to determine which treatment is more suitable for this complex population.
2. Zantvoord, J. B., Diehle, J., & Lindauer, R. J. (2013, March). Using neurobiological measures to predict and assess treatment outcome of psychotherapy in posttraumatic stress disorder: Systematic review. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 82, 142-151. doi:10.1159/000343258.
Background: Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) are effective treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder. However, little is known about their neurobiological effects. The usefulness of neurobiological measures to predict the treatment outcome of psychotherapy also has yet to be determined. Methods: Systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) focused on neurobiological treatment effects of TF-CBT or EMDR and trials with neurobiological measures as predictors of treatment response. Results: We included 23 publications reporting on 16 separate trials. TF-CBT was compared with a waitlist in most trials. TF-CBT was associated with a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure and changes in activity but not in volume of frontal brain structures and the amygdala. Neurobiological changes correlated with changes in symptom severity. EMDR was only tested against other active treatments in included trials. We did not find a difference in neurobiological treatment effects between EMDR and other treatments. Publications on neurobiological predictors of treatment response showed ambiguous results. Conclusion: TF-CBT was associated with a reduction of physiological reactivity. There is some preliminary evidence that TF-CBT influences brain regions involved in fear conditioning, extinction learning and possibly working memory and attention regulation; however, these effects could be nonspecific psychotherapeutic effects. Future trials should use paradigms aimed specifically at these brain regions and physiological reactivity. There are concerns regarding the risk of bias in some of the RCTs, indicating that methodologically more rigorous trials are required. Trials with neurobiological measures as predictors of treatment outcome render insufficient results to be useful in clinical practice. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.