Open Access EMDR and CBT for Cancer Patients: Comparative Study of Effects on PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression

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Abstract:

This pilot study examined the efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) treatment compared with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in oncology patients in the follow-up phase of the disease. The secondary aim of this study was to assess whether EMDR treatment has a different impact on PTSD in the active treatment or during the follow-up stages of disease. Twenty-one patients in follow-up care were randomly assigned to EMDR or CBT groups, and 10 patients in the active treatment phase were assigned to EMDR group. The Impact of Event Scale—Revised (IES-R) and Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) were used to assess PTSD at pretreatment and 1 month posttreatment. Anxiety, depression, and psychophysiological symptoms were also evaluated. For cancer patients in the follow-up stage, the absence of PTSD after the treatment was associated with a significantly higher likelihood of receiving EMDR rather than CBT. EMDR was significantly more effective than CBT in reducing scores on the IES-R and the CAPS intrusive symptom subscale, whereas anxiety and depression improved equally in both treatment groups. Furthermore, EMDR showed the same efficacy both in the active cancer treatment and during the follow-up of the disease.

Keywords: CANCER; CBT; EMDR; PSYCHOTHERAPY; PTSD

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1933-3196.7.3.134

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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  • 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.
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