The Effect of Emotional Freedom Technique on Fatigue among Women with Multiple Sclerosis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2021 Oct 22;26(6):531-536. doi: 10.4103/ijnmr.IJNMR_188_19. eCollection 2021 Nov-Dec.


Background: This study aimed to investigate the effect of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) on the severity of fatigue among women with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Materials and methods: This was a single-blind, randomized controlled trial study conducted on 50 women with MS in Isfahan, Iran. Sampling was performed using simple sampling method, then the participants were randomly divided into two groups of case and sham using the minimization method. The EFT intervention was performed on the case group, 2 sessions per week for a 4-weeks period. In the sham group, with the same psychological part of the EFT technique like case group, mild tapping was applied on false points for the same period of time. Fatigue severity score was obtained using the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) before and immediately and 4 weeks after the intervention in the two groups. Data analysis was conducted using descriptive and inferential statistical methods.

Results: The results of the independent t-test indicated that the mean (SD) score of fatigue severity before the intervention was not significantly different between the case and sham groups 5.48 (0.75) and (5.39 (0.71) with (p = 0.67). However, this difference was significant immediately [(3.05 (0.89) and 5.15 (0.94)] and 4 weeks after the intervention 3.10 (0.81) and 5.59 (0.57) (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: It seems that EFT is effective in diminishing fatigue among patients with MS and is recommended as a convenient and safe non-medicament strategy for self-management of fatigue among these patients, and can be used at the bedside by nurses.

Keywords: Acupuncture points; complementary therapies; fatigue; multiple sclerosis.