Comparison of efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing of emotional freedom technique and cognitive-behavioral therapy in PTSD in covid-19

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student in Counseling, Department of Counseling, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Counseling, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Research Center of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.


This study compared the effectiveness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), emotional freedom technique (EFT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in treating PTSD in patients who recovered from Covid-19 in Tabriz (Iran).The present study was quasi-experimental based on a pretest-posttest design with a control group. The statistical population included all female patients recovered from Covid-19 aged 25 to 60 years in Tabriz in 2021. forty-eight patients sampled using the purposeful sampling method and diagnosed with PTSD were randomly assigned to three experimental groups(n=36) and one control group(n=12). Participants in EMDR and EFT sessions were treated individually in six 45 min sessions. Similarly, those who took part in the CBT sessions were treated in groups in 45 min sessions. All participants were evaluated in two pre-test and post-test stages by a post-traumatic stress disorder checklist. Data were analyzed in SPSS software (version 22) using the analysis of covariance. Post-test PTSDA scores were significantly reduced in three experimental groups (P <0.05). Additionally, a reduction in PTSD scores in the EMDR group was substantially more significant than in the CBT and EFT groups. Three EMDR, EFT and CBT psychotherapies relieved the symptoms in PTSD patients. However, according to the post-test results, EMDR intervention was more effective than CBT and EFT psychotherapy in reducing PTSD symptoms. Since, all the three methods can improve behavioral strategies by influencing irrational thoughts and emotion release, they are effective ways to reduce PTSD .