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Title: Eye Movement Desensitization (EMD) to reduce posttraumatic stress disorder-related stress reactivity in Indonesia PTSD patients: a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
Author(s): E. Susanty, M. Sijbrandij, W. Srisayekti and A. C. Huizink
Journal: Trials
Year: 2021
Volume: 22
Issue: 1
Pages: 1-12
DOI: 10.1186/s13063-021-05100-3
File URL: /vuams-pubs/Susanty2021_Article_EyeMovementDesensitizationEMDT.pdf
Keywords: Stress reactivity, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, HRV, PEP, Indonesia
Abstract: Background: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may develop after exposure to a traumatic event. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based psychological treatment for PTSD. It is yet unclear whether eye movements also reduce stress reactivity in PTSD patients. This study aims to test whether eye movements, as provided during Eye Movement Desensitization (EMD), are more effective in reducing stress reactivity in PTSD patients as compared to a retrieval-only control condition. Methods: The study includes participants who meet criteria of PTSD of the public psychological services in Jakarta and Bandung, Indonesia. One hundred and ten participants are randomly assigned to either an (1) Eye Movement Desensitization group (n = 55) or (2) retrieval-only control group (n = 55). Participants are assessed at baseline (T0), post-treatment (T1), 1 month (T2), and at 3 months follow-up (T3). Participants are exposed to a script-driven imagery procedure at T0 and T1. The primary outcome is heart rate variability (HRV) stress reactivity during scriptdriven imagery. Secondary outcomes include heart rate (HR), pre-ejection period (PEP), saliva cortisol levels, PTSD symptoms, neurocognitive functioning, symptoms of anxiety and depression, perceived stress level, and quality of life. Discussion: If the EMD intervention is effective in reducing stress reactivity outcomes, this would give us more insight into the underlying mechanisms of EMDR’s effectiveness in PTSD symptom reduction. Trial registration: ISRCTN registry ISRCTN55239132. Registered on 19 December 2017.

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