EMDR and CBT for Cancer Patients: Comparative Study of Effects on PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression

This pilot study examined the efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) treatment
compared with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
in oncology patients in the follow-up phase of the disease. The secondary aim of this study was to assess
whether EMDR treatment has a different impact on PTSD in the active treatment or during the followup
stages of disease. Twenty-one patients in follow-up care were randomly assigned to EMDR or CBT
groups, and 10 patients in the active treatment phase were assigned to EMDR group. The Impact of Event
Scale--Revised (IES-R) and Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) were used to assess PTSD at
pretreatment and 1 month posttreatment. Anxiety, depression, and psychophysiological symptoms were
also evaluated. For cancer patients in the follow-up stage, the absence of PTSD after the treatment was
associated with a significantly higher likelihood of receiving EMDR rather than CBT. EMDR was significantly
more effective than CBT in reducing scores on the IES-R and the CAPS intrusive symptom subscale,
whereas anxiety and depression improved equally in both treatment groups. Furthermore, EMDR
showed the same efficacy both in the active cancer treatment and during the follow-up of the disease.

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Capezzani L
Ostacoli L
Cavallo M
Carletto S
Fernandez I
Solomon R
Pagani M
Cantelmi T.
Springer Pub. Co.,, New York, NY , Stati Uniti d'America
Journal of EMDR practice and research 7 (2013): 134–143. doi:10.1891/1933-3196.7.3.134
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Capezzani L, Ostacoli L, Cavallo M, Carletto S, Fernandez I, Solomon R, Pagani M, Cantelmi T./titolo:EMDR and CBT for Cancer Patients: Comparative Study of Effects on PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression/doi:10.1891/1933-3196.7.3.134/r
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