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Meta-Analyses

EMDR has been compared to numerous exposure therapy protocols, with and without CT techniques. It should be noted that exposure therapy uses one to two hours of daily homework and EMDR uses none.  The most recent meta-analyses are listed here.

Bisson, J., Roberts, N.P., Andrew, M., Cooper, R. & Lewis, C. (2013).  Psychological therapies for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003388.pub4
- Research indicates that CBT and EMDR therapy are superior to all other treatments.

Bradley, R., Greene, J., Russ, E., Dutra, L., & Westen, D. (2005). A multidimensional meta-analysis of psychotherapy for PTSD.  American Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 214-227.
- EMDR is equivalent to exposure and other cognitive behavioral treatments and all “are highly efficacious in reducing PTSD symptoms.

Davidson, P.R., & Parker, K.C.H. (2001). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): A meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 69, 305-316.
- EMDR is equivalent to exposure and other cognitive behavioral treatments.  It should be noted that exposure therapy uses one to two hours of daily homework and EMDR uses none.

Lee, C.W., & Cuijpers, P. (2013).  A meta-analysis of the contribution of eye movements in processing emotional memories. Journal of Behavior Therapy & Experimental Psychiatry, 44, 231-239.
- The effect size for the additive effect of eye movements in EMDR treatment studies was moderate and significant (Cohen’s d = 0.41). For the second group of laboratory studies the effect size was large and significant (d = 0.74).


Maxfield, L., & Hyer, L.A. (2002).
The relationship between efficacy and methodology in studies investigating EMDR treatment of PTSD. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58, 23-41
- A comprehensive meta-analysis reported the more rigorous the study, the larger the effect.

Rodenburg, R., Benjamin, A., de Roos, C, Meijer, A.M., & Stams, G.J. (2009). Efficacy of EMDR in children: A meta – analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 29, 599-606.
- Results indicate efficacy of EMDR when effect sizes are based on comparisons between EMDR and non-established trauma treatment or no-treatment control groups, and incremental efficacy when effect sizes are based on comparisons between EMDR and established (CBT) trauma treatment.

Seidler, G.H., & Wagner, F.E. (2006). Comparing the efficacy of EMDR and trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy in the treatment of PTSD: a meta-analytic study. Psychological Medicine, 36, 1515-1522.
- Results suggest that in the treatment of PTSD, both therapy methods tend to be equally efficacious.

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