2009 issue 3


Volume 18, issue 3

Original paper

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing effectiveness in outpatient psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder

Jacek Pasternak1
1. Zakład Psychologii Instytutu Pedagogiki Uniwersytetu Rzeszowskiego, Poradnia Zdrowia Psychicznego w Rzeszowie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2009; 18 (3): 247-254
Keywords: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, psychotherapy, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


Objectives. The psychological study was aimed at evaluation of the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), hypo-thesized to be effective in PTSD treatment.
Method. Participants in the study were 60 outpatients (16 men and 44 women) aged 18-55, diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They were treated with psychotherapy at the Outpatient Mental Health Clinic in Rzeszów. The patients were randomly divided into two eąuinumerous groups: "immediate", starting treatment directly after the initial diagnostic assessment, and "delayed", receiving the same treatment after one month delay. In the pre-and post-treatment assessment a PTSD ąuestionnaire by Pasternak was used (in the "delayed" group an additional assessment was made 1 month after the initial one, i.e. directlypreceding therapy).
Results. In a vast majority of patients a statistically significant reduction in PTSD symptoms severity was noted. Three subgroups differ-ing in treatment outcome (as measured by the Pasternak PTSD Scale scores) were identified, whose therapy was: successful (n = 37), moder-ately effective (n = 14), or unsuccessful (n = 9).
Conclusions. The findings suggest that Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing turned out to be an effective techniąue in the treatment for PTSD, both in the whole sample under study, and in the subgroups ("immediate" and "delayed").

Address for correspondence:
Dr Jacek Pasternak
Zakład Psychologii Instytutu Pedagogiki Uniwersytetu Rzeszowskiego
ul. Ks. J. Jałowego 24, 35-959 Rzeszów