Elevated psychophysiological parameters and heightened physiological reactivity to trauma-related cues are acquired changes following trauma exposure. Measuring improvement in these variables is an appropriate evaluation of outcome in treatment studies. Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
is a computerized measure of physiological responsivity derived from Holter ECG recording. Four female outpatients with persistent post-traumatic symptoms and personal impairment following "small t" trauma exposure underwent a course of EMDR treatment and were assessed at baseline, end of
treatment, day 30 and day 90 of follow-up, using self-report symptom scales and 90-min Holter ECG recordings. Symptom scores decreased between baseline and end of treatment, with improvement maintained at follow-up. Several HRV measures changed favorably in different recording intervals. HRV
is a feasible and sensitive method to measure physiological changes in the treatment of individuals distressed by "small t" trauma. Further investigation is advisable to expand these preliminary data.
The Journal of EMDR Practice and Research is a quarterly, peer-reviewed publication devoted to integrative, state-of-the-art papers about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a broadly conceived interdisciplinary journal that stimulates and communicates research and theory about EMDR, and their application to clinical practice.