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Evaluating the Efficacy of Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) with Grieving Individuals: A Randomised Control Trial

Morozow, L. (2014) Evaluating the Efficacy of Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) with Grieving Individuals: A Randomised Control Trial. Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia.

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Background: Eye movement desensitisation reprocessing (EMDR) has been shown to be effective in treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Based on similarities in symptoms of PTSD and complicated grief, as well as limited research to date, this approach may be effective in treating grief and its associated distress.
Aim: This study evaluated and compared the effectiveness of EMDR with an integrated cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) intervention using a randomised control trial design.
Method: Participants (N=19) who identified themselves as struggling with grief were randomly allocated to treatment conditions and following a seven week wait-list received seven weeks of therapy.
Results: Participants in both conditions showed improvement post-treatment, with significant reductions on Impact of Events Scale and the Inventory of Complicated Grief in the EMDR condition and a significant improvement in quality of life in the integrated-CBT condition. At follow-up, assessment conducted by an independent researcher revealed a significant reduction in mean scores on Impact of Events Scale and Inventory of Complicated Grief for both conditions, however for the CBT group only improvement on the Impact of Events Scale remained significant after a Bonferroni correction was applied. Results from individuals who scored highly on measures of distress prior to treatment also support current literature which indicates that primary interventions targeting those with complicated grief are effective.
Conclusion: The findings provide preliminary support for the use of EMDR with grieving individuals.

Item Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia
Copyright: The Author
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