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Randomized controlled study comparing two psychological therapies for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) vs. Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)

Citation (APA Style): Al-Hadethe, A., Hunt, N., Al-Qaysi, G., & Thomas, S. (2015). Randomized controlled study comparing two psychological therapies for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) vs. Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET). Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders and Treatment, 4(4). doi:10.4172/2324-8947.1000145

Abstract

Background: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common psychological reaction after traumatic events. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) as treatments for PTSD with traumatised people. 

Methods: A randomized controlled trial design was used. Sixty Iraqi students were selected who met the DSM-IV PTSD criteria. Participants were male students who were aged between 16-19 years. Participants were randomly divided into three groups, with 20 participants in each group. Those in the EFT and NET groups received 4 therapy sessions, while the control group received no treatment. One person from the NET group withdrew. All participants were assessed on PTSD symptoms, anxiety and depression, social support.

Results: The results showed that the participants who received EFT reported a significant difference in all PTSD cluster at pre-test and post-test from T1 to T2 (p>0.05). However, although the NET group reported a significant difference between pre-test and posttest in avoidance and re-experience, no significant difference was found in hyper arousal (p<0.05). However, no significant differences were found in the experiential group with social support, coping strategies, and religious coping (p<0.05). These changes of PTSD, PTSD clusters, anxiety and depression remained stable for 3, 6 and 12 month follow-ups in EFT group, while these changes were unstable during the follow-ups. Measures of coping strategies showed that seeking support and active coping improved since the interventions. In conclusion, both EFT and NET showed their effectiveness among traumatised Iraqi people.

Keywords: EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques, Narrative Exposure Therapy, NET, posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD

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