Skip to main content

Open Access Changes in Psychological Symptoms and Heart Rate Variability During EMDR Treatment: A Case Series of Subthreshold PTSD

Download Article:
(PDF 187.1 kb)


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.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • 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.
  • Information for Authors
  • Membership Information
  • Related Organizations
  • Free Sample Issue
  • Subscribe to this Journal
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more