The current meta-analysis aims to synthesize existing studies on the effectiveness of both trauma-focused and addiction-focused eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) for people with substance use disorder (SUD). Search and selection procedures involved screening 1,733 references, yielding 10 studies published between 2008 and 2021 from 8 countries with 561 participants. After the removal of one outlier study, the results showed EMDR to be effective on a variety of outcomes for people with SUD (n = 9, d = .654, 95% CI [.332, .985], p < .001). Regarding the effects on SUD outcomes, meta-analysis also showed EMDR to be effective (n = 7, d = .580, 95% CI [.209, .951], p = .002). Specifically, EMDR was effective with SUD treatment engagement and severity, but not necessarily the reduction of cravings, and also effective for reducing comorbid posttraumatic and depressive symptoms. This meta-analysis is limited by the number of studies and participants, heterogeneity in methods of included studies, the quality of studies, and other factors.
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Logsdon, E., Cornelius-White, J. H. D., & Kanamori, Y. (2023). The Effectiveness of EMDR With Individuals Experiencing Substance Use Disorder: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 17(1), 21–32. https://doi.org/10.1891/EMDR-2022-0046
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research