The aim of the current systematic review is to examine the efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy as treatment for chronic subjective tinnitus. Insights concerning the EMDR treatment method and the mechanisms could offer valuable therapeutic guidelines in tinnitus management. The systematic review was performed according to the PRISMA guidelines. PubMed (MEDLINE), the Cochrane Library, PSYNDEX, PsycINFO, and the Francine Shapiro Library were used as data sources. Included were studies with at least two patients with diagnosed chronic subjective tinnitus, with pre- and post-measurements, testing the effect of EMDR. Two experimental studies with a total of 49 tinnitus patients met the inclusion criteria. Both studies assessed tinnitus distress. The pre–post treatment effect size of the studies was calculated in one study (a medium between-effect size of Cohen’s dz = .72). The other eligible study described significant improvement in 64.3% of the participants. No adverse events or side effects were reported. Research on the application of EMDR as treatment for tinnitus is still in an early stage. Both studies present EMDR as effective treatment for tinnitus distress, at least for about 50% of the patients, and that the effect remains at 3 months’ follow-up. Recommendations for future research are provided.
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Luyten, T., van Rompaey, V., van de Heyning, P., van Looveren, N., Jacquemin, L., Cardon, E., Declau, F., Fransen, E., de Bodt, M., & Gilles, A. (2020). EMDR in the Treatment of Chronic Subjective Tinnitus: A Systematic Review. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 14(3), 135–149. https://doi.org/10.1891/EMDR-D-20-00005
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research