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Open Access EMDR Individual Protocol for Paraprofessional Use: A Randomized Controlled Trial With First Responders

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The eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) individual protocol for paraprofessional use in acute trauma situations (EMDR-PROPARA) is part of a project developed at the initiative of Dr. Francine Shapiro. This randomized clinical trial examined the effectiveness of the protocol administered by experienced EMDR therapists. There were 39 traumatized first responders on active duty randomly assigned to receive two 90-min sessions of either EMDR-PROPARA or of supportive counseling. Participants in the EMDR-PROPARA group showed benefits immediately after treatment, with their scores on the Short PTSD Rating Interview (SPRINT) showing further decreases at 3-month follow-up. In comparison, supportive counseling participants experienced a nonsignificant decrease after treatment and an increase in the SPRINT scores at the second follow-up. The significant difference between the two treatments provides preliminary support for EMDR-PROPARA's effectiveness in reducing severity of posttraumatic symptoms and subjective global improvement. More controlled research is recommended to evaluate further the efficacy of this intervention.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2013

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