Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a strain on health systems around the world. Healthcare workers, on the front lines of the epidemic, are facing major and potentially traumatic stressful events, overwhelming their ability to cope and their resources.

Objective: The objective of this article will be to show how the use of the URG-EMDR protocol in a telemental health setting has proven to be feasible and effective in the treatment of a group of healthcare professionals working in nursing homes or hospital services that were highly mobilized during the acute phase of COVID-19.

Method: 17 participants, registered nurses (N = 7) and licensed practical nurses (N = 10), were remotely treated using the URG-EMDR protocol in a single session. The assessment focused on anxiety and depressive symptoms (HAD scale) and the level of perceived disturbance (SUD). An additional evaluation of the satisfaction with the remote psychotherapy intervention was conducted.

Results: As the URG-EMDR protocol has already proven itself during emergency interventions, it is interesting to note that its remote use in the treatment of healthcare providers caring for COVID-19 patients allows for an improvement in the emotional state and a decrease in perceived disturbance, in a single session. This result is maintained 1 week after the intervention, despite the continued professional activities of the participants and the continuity of the event. Moreover, the remote therapy setting was judged satisfactory by the patients, even if it required adjustments and certain recommendations for practice.

Discussion: The remote use of the URG-EMDR protocol opens up innovative perspectives for early interventions and the prevention of the development of psychological disorders in the long term following a situation of acute stress.

Rank: 85
First Author: Tarquinio
Outcome: Depression,Anxiety,Work Functioning,Drinking Behaviors
Outcome p-value: Depression:⭑, Anxiety:⭑, Work Functioning:⭑, Drinking Behaviors:⭑
Intervention Category: Medical
Time per Employee (hours): 2.25
Hours per Employee: 2
D&B Study Quality Rating: 13
Reviewer Confidence: 2
Country: France
Study Design Type: Quasi-experimental
Materials Available to Implement: The treatment is individual psychotherapy so it cannot be fully described. The protocol, including steps and guidelines, appears sufficiently described that the intervention can be carried out by an experienced psychotherapist who employs this technique. Corresponding author: camilletarquinio@gmail.com
Organiz./Individ. Focus: Individual
Prevention Category: Tertiary
Effect size Small:
Effect size Medium:
Reference: Tarquinio, C., Brennstuhl, M.-J., Rydberg, J. A., Bassan, F., Peter, L., Tarquinio, C. L., Auxemery, Y., Rotonda, C., & Tarquinio, P. (2021). EMDR in Telemental Health Counseling for Healthcare Workers Caring for COVID-19 Patients: A Pilot Study. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 42(1), 3–14. https://doi.org/10.1080/01612840.2020.1818014