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EMDR vs trauma-focused CBT

DescriptionStatementStatements and Statistics
Severity of PTSD symptoms mean endpoint scoress4The evidence is inconclusive and so it is not possible to determine if there is a clinically important difference between EMDR and trauma-focused CBT on reducing the severity of clinician-rated PTSD symptoms (k = 5; n = 147; SMD = −0.06; 95% CI, −0.68 to 0.55). I
Severity of PTSD symptoms mean scores at follow up (3 months)s4The evidence is inconclusive and so it is not possible to determine if there is a clinically important difference between EMDR and trauma-focused CBT on reducing the severity of PTSD symptoms (clinician rated) at follow up (3 months) (k = 3; n = 76; SMD = −0.19; 95% CI, −0.97 to 0.58). I
Severity of PTSD symptoms mean endpoint scoress4The evidence is inconclusive and so it is not possible to determine if there is a clinically important difference between EMDR and trauma-focused CBT on reducing the severity of self-report PTSD symptoms (k = 6; n = 166; SMD = − 0.31; 95% CI, −0.62 to 0). I
Severity of PTSD symptoms mean scores at follow up (3 months)s3There is evidence suggesting there is unlikely to be a clinically important difference between EMDR and trauma-focused CBT on reducing the severity of self-report PTSD symptoms at follow up (3 months) (k = 5; n = 111; SMD = −0.01; 95% CI, −0.39 to 0.37). I
Depression symptoms mean endpoint scoress2xThere is limited evidence favouring EMDR over trauma-focused CBT on reducing self-report depression symptoms (k = 6; n = 166; SMD = −0.5; 95% CI, −1.04 to 0.04). I
Depression symptoms mean scores at follow up (2–5 months)s3There is evidence suggesting there is unlikely to be a clinically important difference between EMDR and trauma-focused CBT on reducing self-report depression symptoms at follow up (2–5 months) (k = 5; n = 111; SMD = −0.09; 95% CI, −0.47 to 0.29). I
Anxiety symptoms mean endpoint scoress4The evidence is inconclusive and so it is not possible to determine if there is a clinically important difference between EMDR and trauma-focused CBT on reducing self-report anxiety symptoms (k = 3; n = 96; SMD = −0.3; 95% CI, − 0.71 to 0.11). I
Anxiety symptoms mean scores at follow up (2–5 months)s4The evidence is inconclusive and so it is not possible to determine if there is a clinically important difference between EMDR and trauma-focused CBT on reducing self-report anxiety symptoms at follow up (2–5 months) (k = 2; n = 48; SMD = 0.24; 95% CI, −0.33 to 0.81). I
Likelihood of leaving treatment early for any reasons4The evidence is inconclusive and so it is not possible to determine if there is a clinically important difference between EMDR and trauma-focused CBT on reducing the likelihood of leaving treatment early for any reason (k = 7; n = 240; RR = 0.83; 95% CI, 0.54 to 1.27). I
Likelihood of having a PTSD diagnosis after treatments4The evidence is inconclusive and so it is not possible to determine if there is a clinically important difference between EMDR and trauma-focused CBT on reducing the likelihood of having a PTSD diagnosis after treatment (k = 6; n = 220; RR = 1.03; 95% CI, 0.64 to 1.66). I
Quality of life mean endpoint scoress4The evidence is inconclusive and so it is not possible to determine if there is a clinically important difference between EMDR and trauma-focused CBT on improving quality of life (k = 2; n = 71; SMD = −0.12; 95% CI, −1.2 to 0.95). I

From: Appendix 16, Evidence statements

Cover of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Management of PTSD in Adults and Children in Primary and Secondary Care.
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 26.
National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK).
Leicester (UK): Gaskell; 2005.
Copyright © 2005, The Royal College of Psychiatrists & The British Psychological Society.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Enquiries in this regard should be directed to the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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