Church, D., & Brooks, A. J. (2010). The effect of a brief Emotional Freedom Techniques self-intervention on anxiety, depression, pain, and cravings in health care workers. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, 9(5), 40-43.
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Summary by Adam Boughey, Research Associate and Trainee Health Psychologist, Staffordshire University, UK
Santa Rosa (CA), USA; and Tuscon (AZ), USA.
To explore the effect of EFT on symptom assessment and somatic and emotional indicators in delegates attending energy psychology conferences.
Before and after study; non-random; no control; convenience sample.
A total of 216 participants (52M; 164F; Mage = 48.22 years; range = 17-83 years) attending energy psychology workshops on 5 separate conferences provided base-line data. 47% attrition (n = 102).
Self-Assessment 45 (SA-45).
Somatic and Emotional Indicators (SEI).
A page of EFT instructions was provided along with pre-post measures of SA-45 and SEI. Participants received a 4-hour workshop based on self-application of EFT along with theory and demonstration, and 2 hours of self-application. A 90-day follow-up email assessment measuring EFT use after workshop, specifically whether participants used EFT at least once per week, at least 3 times since the workshop, or not at all.
t-tests used to assess total sample mean pre-post differences in SA-45.
MANOVA used for pre-post differences across SEI and time (pre-, post, and 90-day follow-up) x EFT use (1x/wk, ≥ 3x/wk, not at all) on SA-45.
Significant (p ≤ 0.015) differences between participants across conferecnes 1-5 in age, post-conference EFT use, depression, hostility, interpersonal sensitivity, paranoia, global severity index and positive symptom total.
Post-hoc pairwise comparisons: conference 1 participants significantly (p < 0.002) younger than participants in conferences 2, 3, 4, and 5; along with participants in conference 4 younger than participants ins conferences 2 and 3.
Post-hoc Tukey contrasts (p < 0.0045): conference 2 participants significantly lower hostility than conference 1; conference 3 participants significantly lower interpersonal sensitivity than conference 5; conference 3 participants significantly lower paranoia than conference 5.
t-tests (Bonferroni adjusted): significant (p < 0.001) pre-post differences (lower scores) across all SA-45 sub- and global scales.
MANOVA: No significant finding of post-conference EFT use. Significant (p < 0.001) main effect of time: 90-day follow-up means on SA-45 sub- and global scales (lower scores compared with pre-intervention).
Significant (p < 0.034) positive correlation (r = 0.199) between increased EFT use and lower global severity index.
Non-significant (p < 0.117) positive correlation (r = 0.148) between increased EFT use and lower positive symptom total.
Anxiety; Depression; Food Cravings, Weight Loss, and Eating Disorders; Pain and Physical Conditions
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Summary from ACEP (Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology)
This study examined a cross section of 194 healthcare professionals, including
physicians, nurses, psychotherapists, chiropractors, psychiatrists, alternative
medicine practitioners, and allied professionals. It 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 subjects’ levels of anxiety, depression, and other psychological symptoms. The study utilizes a within-subjects, time-series, repeated measures design. It evaluates symptoms using the SA-45, a well-validated 45-item questionnaire. Besides measuring the breadth and intensity of psychological distress, this instrument has nine subscales for specific conditions, including anxiety and depression. It was administered to subjects before and after an EFT demonstration and self-application that lasted about 90 minutes. Subjects also self-reported physical pain, emotional distress, and cravings on a 10-point Likert-type scale. The SA-45 follow-up was administered 3 months later, to determine whether any improvement held over time. Subjects received a single page homework EFT reminder sheet, and their frequency of practice was tracked at follow-up.
EFT self-application resulted in statistically significant decreases in pain, emotional distress, and cravings, and improvements for all nine subscales. On the two general scales on the SA-45, symptom severity dropped by 34%, and symptom breadth by 40% relative to normal baselines (both p < 0.001). Pain scores dropped by 68%, the intensity of traumatic memories by 83%, and cravings by 83% (all p < 0.001).
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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 health care workers’ psychological distress symptoms.
The participants were 216 attendees at 5 professional conferences over a span of 1 year. Psychological distress, as measured by the Symptom Assessment 45 (SA-45), a self-rated pain, emotional distress, and craving were assessed before and after 2 hours of self-applied EFT by using 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 (p < 0.001). Gains were maintained at follow-up for most SA-45 scales. The severity of psychological symptoms was reduced (~ 45%, p < 0.001) as well as the breadth (~40%, p < 0.001), with significant gains maintained at follow-up. Greater subsequent EFT use correlated with a greater decrease in symptom severity at follow-up (p < 0.034, r = 0.199), but not in breadth of symptoms (p < 0.117, r = 0.148).
EFT provided an immediate effect on psychological distress, pain, and cravings, which was replicated across multiple conferences and health care provider samples.
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