Efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing on the phantom limb pain of patients with amputations within a 24-month follow-up

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) on the phantom limb pain (PLP) of patients with amputations within a 24-month follow-up. This study was a randomized-controlled trial. A total of 60 patients with amputations were selected by a purposive sampling and patients were divided randomly into two experimental and control groups. Samples were assigned through randomized allocation. EMDR therapy was administered individually to the experimental group participants in 12 one-hour sessions over a 1-month period In each session, the patient completed the Subjective Units of Distress Scale and a pain-rating scale before and after the intervention. Follow-up measures were obtained 24 months later for the experimental group. The participants in the control group were measured on the two scales at an initial session and again after 1- and 24-month follow-up. The mean PLP decreased in the experimental group between the first and last sessions and remained so at a 24-month follow-up. No decrease occurred for the control group over the 1- and 24-month period. The differences were statistically significant (P<0.001) according to a repeated-measures analysis of variance. EMDR therapy proved to be a successful treatment for PLP. Because of its efficacy and the fact that the positive effects were maintained at the 24-month follow-up, this therapy is recommended for the treatment of PLP.

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