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Front. Psychiatry
Sec. Anxiety and Stress Disorders
Volume 15 - 2024 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2024.1286118
This article is part of the Research Topic EMDR and the AIP Model: Healing the Scars of Trauma View all 15 articles

A randomized controlled trial of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of fibromyalgia

Provisionally accepted
  • 1 Institute for Behavioral Studies, Istanbul, Türkiye
  • 2 Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, London, United Kingdom
  • 3 Private Practice, İzmir, Türkiye
  • 4 Izmir Bozyaka Training and Research Hospital, Izmir, Türkiye
  • 5 Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Türkiye
  • 6 Erenköy Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Hospital, Istanbul, Türkiye
  • 7 Independent researcher, Istanbul, Türkiye
  • 8 Istanbul Kültür University, Istanbul, Türkiye

The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon.

    Background: In addition to pharmacological treatments, psychotherapeutic approaches are recommended for the treatment of fibromyalgia. There is a suggestion that Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy may be effective. This study aims to investigate the impact of EMDR therapy on fibromyalgia symptoms, depression, sleep quality, and traumatic stress in fibromyalgia patients through a Randomized Controlled Study (RCT).: The sample for this study comprises 79 individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Participants were randomly assigned to two groups: the 'Treatment as Usual' (TAU) group and the TAU+EMDR group. Prior to the study and at six different time points (before starting the study, at the end of the 5th, 10th, and 15th sessions, 1 month later, and 3 months later), participants completed assessments, including the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Fibromyalgia ACR 2010 Diagnostic Criteria (Widespread Pain Index (WPI) and Symptom Severity Scale (SSS)), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and Trauma Symptom Checklist-40 (TSC-40).Results: There were no differences in sociodemographic variables between the study and experimental groups. Analysis of variance revealed a statistically significant group effect on VAS (p=0.019), WPI (p=0.018), BDI (p=0.019), and TSC-40 (p=0.21). After applying the Bonferroni correction, EMDR was found to be effective on VAS, WPI, SSS, BDI, PSQI, and TSC-40 (p < 0.05).The results of the current study suggest that EMDR therapy is a significant and viable alternative in the treatment of fibromyalgia. We believe these findings offer robust evidence supporting the efficacy of EMDR therapy in treating fibromyalgia, particularly as demonstrated in the context of a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT). The application of EMDR therapy in the treatment of fibromyalgia patients is likely to be beneficial.

    Keywords: EMDR, Fibromyalgia, rct, Depression, Pain

    Received: 30 Aug 2023; Accepted: 27 Feb 2024.

    Copyright: © 2024 Zat Çiftçi, Delibaş, Kaya, Geler Külcü, Sarı, Nazlıkul, Coşkun, Aydın, Kavakci, Savran and Konuk. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

    * Correspondence: Zeynep Zat Çiftçi, Institute for Behavioral Studies, Istanbul, 34394, Türkiye

    Disclaimer: All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.