The Effect of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing on Depression and Anxiety in Patients with Spinal Cord Injuries

Document Type : Original Article


1 Neurology School of Medicine, Ilam University of Medical Sciences, Ilam, Iran

2 Student Research Committee, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

3 Department of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Ilam University of Medical Science, Ilam, Iran



Background: Spinal cord injury is one of the worst injuries incurred to the individual and family.
Objectives: The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) intervention on stress and anxiety of spinal cord injury (SCI) patients in Kermanshah, west of Iran.
Methods: This is a quasi-experimental study, which has been conducted for 6 months in 2018 - 2019. The study population consisted of SCI patients in Kermanshah province. The research instruments included demographic characteristics form, Beck’s depression and anxiety inventories completed by patients in both groups after completing the written consent form using the self-report method. Random allocation was used to divide patients into experimental and control groups. To do so, patients were given a sealed card, and if the patient chose a white or black card, they will be placed in the experimental and control groups, respectively. Two sessions were held individually for each patient, and a total of 64 sessions of EMDR-based intervention were held for patients entered into the analysis phase. After data collecting and data entry to SPSS statistical software version 16, the data was analyzed with the use of descriptive statistical tests.
Results: Finding showed the mean (SD) of depression scores before intervention was 45.36 (9.81), which after intervention was reduced to 40.54 (4.25) (P < 0.02). Also, in relation to the amount of anxiety, the mean (SD) of the anxiety score of the patients before intervention was 43.15 (4.35), which after intervention was reduced to 20.03 (11.91). After intervention, reduction in anxiety score in patients was more than depression score (P < 0.000).
Conclusions: Considering that EMDR, as a non-pharmacological intervention, reduced depression and anxiety of patients, it is suggested that this technique, which is a free or non-complicated intervention for the healthcare system or patient, be carried out when providing clinical care to patients.