The Effects of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Survivors of the 1999 Marmara, Turkey, Earthquake

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As part of a program of response to the 1999 Marmara, Turkey, earthquake, an estimated 1,500 trauma victims with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms were treated in tent cities with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). A field study evaluating a representative group of 41 participants with diagnosed PTSD indicated that a mean of five 90-minute sessions was sufficient to eliminate symptoms in 92.7% of those treated, with reduction in symptoms in the remaining participants. Significant reductions occurred between the pre and posttreatment PTSD Symptom Scale Self-Report version (PSS-SR) total scores and all subscales. These gains were maintained at 6-month follow-up. The same pattern of recovery was observed regardless of the use or nonuse of psychotropic medication at the time of intake.

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