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Nord J Psychiatry. 2007;61(5):349-54.

EMDR treatment for children with PTSD: results of a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Child Center for Trauma and Exposure (Maskrosen), Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden.


The objective of the study was to examine the efficacy of EMDR treatment for children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared with untreated children in a waiting list control group (WLC) participating in a randomized controlled superiority trial (RCT). Thirty-three 6-16-year-old children with a DSM-IV diagnosis of PTSD were randomly assigned to eight weekly EMDR sessions or the WLC group. The Posttraumatic Stress Symptom Scale for Children (PTSS-C scale) was used in interviews with children to evaluate their symptoms and outcome. Post-treatment scores of the EMDR group were significantly lower than the WLC indicating improvement in total PTSS-C scores, PTSD-related symptom scale, and the subscales re-experiencing and avoidance among subjects in the EMDR group, while untreated children improved in PTSD-non-related symptom scale. The improvement in re-experiencing symptoms proved to be the most significant between-group difference over time. The results of the present exploratory study including a limited number of children with PTSD are encouraging and warrant further controlled studies of larger samples of children suffering from PTSD.

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