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Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2010 Jan;15(1):5-25. doi: 10.1177/1359104509339086. Epub 2009 Nov 18.

A wait-list controlled pilot study of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) for children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms from motor vehicle accidents.

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Murdoch University, Australia.


The present study investigated the efficacy of four EMDR sessions in comparison to a six-week wait-list control condition in the treatment of 27 children (aged 6 to 12 years) suffering from persistent PTSD symptoms after a motor vehicle accident. An effect for EMDR was identified on primary outcome and process measures including the Child Post-Traumatic Stress-Reaction Index, clinician rated diagnostic criteria for PTSD, Subjective Units of Disturbance and Validity of Cognition scales. All participants initially met two or more PTSD criteria. After EMDR treatment, this decreased to 25% in the EMDR group but remained at 100% in the wait-list group. Parent ratings of their child's PTSD symptoms showed no improvement, nor did a range of non-trauma child self-report and parent-reported symptoms. Treatment gains were maintained at three and 12 month follow-up. These findings support the use of EMDR for treating symptoms of PTSD in children, although further replication and comparison studies are required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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