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The effect of a brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) self-intervention on anxiety, depression, pain and cravings in healthcare workers

Dawson Church, PhD, Foundation for Epigenetic Medicine, Santa Rosa, CA

Audrey J. Brooks, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson

Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, (2010), Oct/Nov, 40-44.

Citation (APA Style): Church, D., & Brooks, A. J. (2010). The effect of a brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) self-intervention on anxiety, depression, pain and cravings in healthcare workers. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, Oct/Nov, 40-44.

Abstract

This study examined whether self-intervention with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy that combines a cognitive and a somatic element, had an effect on healthcare workers’ psychological distress symptoms. Participants were 216 attendees at 5 professional conferences. Psychological distress, as measured by the SA-45, and self-rated pain, emotional distress, and craving were assessed before and after 2-hours of self-applied EFT, utilizing a within-subjects design. A 90-day follow-up was completed by 53% of the sample with 61% reporting using EFT subsequent to the workshop. Significant improvements were found on all distress subscales and ratings of pain, emotional distress, and cravings at posttest (all p<.001). Gains were maintained at follow-up for most SA-45 scales. The severity of psychological symptoms was reduced (-45%, p<.001) as well as the breadth (-40%, p<.001), with significant gains maintained at follow-up. Greater subsequent EFT use correlated with a greater decrease in symptom severity at follow-up (p<.034, r=.199), but not in breadth of symptoms (p<.0117, r=.148). EFT provided an immediate effect on psychological distress, pain, and cravings that was replicated across multiple conferences and healthcare provider samples.

Keywords: Healthcare professionals, burnout, depression, anxiety, pain, craving, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)

Click here to visit Integrative Medicine journal's page from which you can purchase a copy of the paper.

For a discussion of some of the findings of the study, click here.

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