Brief psychological intervention with traumatized young women: the efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing

J Trauma Stress. 1998 Jan;11(1):25-44. doi: 10.1023/A:1024400931106.


To study the efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) with traumatized young women, 60 women between the ages of 16 and 25 were randomly assigned to two sessions of either EMDR or an active listening (AL) control. Factorial ANOVA interaction effects and simple main effects for outcome measure (Beck Depression Inventory, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Penn Inventory for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Impact of Event Scale, Tennessee Self-Concept Scale) indicated significant improvement for both groups and significantly greater pre-post change for EMDR-treated participants. Pre-post effect sizes for the EMDR group averaged 1.56 compared to 0.65 for the AL group. Despite treatment brevity, the posttreatment outcome variable means of EMDR-treated participants compared favorably with nonpatient or successfully treated norm groups on all measures.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Desensitization, Psychologic / methods*
  • Eye Movements
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Psychological Tests
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome