Depression is a severe mental disorder that challenges mental health systems worldwide. About 30% of treated patients do not experience a full remission after treatment, and more than 75% of patients suffer from recurrent depressive episodes. Although psychotherapy and medication can improve remission rates, the success rates of current treatments are limited. In this nonrandomized controlled exploratory study, 21 patients with unipolar primary depression were treated with a mean of 44.5 sessions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) including an average 6.9 adjunctive sessions of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). A control group (n = 21) was treated with an average of 47.1 sessions of CBT sessions alone. The main outcome measure was the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II). The treatment groups did not differ in their BDI-II scores before treatment, and both treatments resulted in significant improvement. There was an additional benefit for patients treated with adjunctive EMDR (p = .029). Also the number of remissions at posttreatment, as measured by a symptom level below a BDI-II score of 12, was significantly better in the adjunctive EMDR group, the group showing more remissions (n = 18) than the control group (n = 8; p < .001). This potential effect of EMDR in patients with primary depression should be examined further in larger randomized controlled studies.
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Copyright © 2014 EMDR International Association
Hofmann, A., Hilgers, A., Lehnung, M., Liebermann, P., Ostacoli, L., Schneider, W., & Hase, M. (2014). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing as an Adjunctive Treatment of Unipolar Depression: A Controlled Study. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 8(3), 103–112. https://doi.org/10.1891/1933-3188.8.131.52
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research