Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing to Reduce Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Related Symptoms among Forcibly Displaced People: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Mark J. Macgowan, Mitra Naseh, Maryam Rafieifar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: This study is a meta-analysis on the efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in reducing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and co-occurring depression, and anxiety symptoms among forcibly displaced people. Methods: A search was followed by data extraction and assessment of risk of bias. Within- and between-conditions effect sizes of posttest and follow-up outcomes using a random effects model were examined, with heterogeneity and subgroup analyses. Results: Twenty-two studies (N = 1964) were included and seventeen (N = 1652) had complete data for the meta-analysis. There were medium to large effect size reductions on PTSD, depression, and anxiety within-conditions. EMDR was more effective than other conditions at posttest for PTSD symptoms but outcomes for the posttests and follow-ups for depression and anxiety were inconclusive. Discussion: EMDR effectively reduced PTSD symptoms, depression, and anxiety among forcibly displaced people. More studies with larger samples and better designs are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-877
Number of pages15
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Volume32
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • EMDR
  • PTSD
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • forced displacement
  • refugees
  • trauma

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