Sezgin, N., & Özcan, B. (2009). The effect of Progressive Muscular Relaxation and Emotional Freedom Techniques on test anxiety in high school students: A randomized controlled trial. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 1, 23-29. doi: 10.9769.EPJ.2009.1.1.NS
Summary by Adam Boughey, Research Associate and Trainee Health Psychologist, Staffordshire University, UK
Bakirkoy, Istanbul: Turkey.
This study investigated the effect on test anxiety of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy with somatic and cognitive components.
A group of 312 high school students enrolled at a private academy was evaluated using the Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI), which contains subscales for worry and emotionality. Scores for 70 demonstrated high levels of test anxiety; these students were randomized into control and experimental groups. During the course of a single treatment session, the control group received instruction in Progressive Muscular Relaxation (PMR); the experimental group, EFT, followed by self-treatment at home. After two months, subjects were re-tested using the TAI. Repeated covariance analysis was performed to determine the effects of EFT and PMR on the mean TAI score, as well as the two subscales. Each group completed a sample examination at the beginning and end of the study, and their mean scores were computed. Thirty-two of the initial 70 subjects completed all the study’s requirements, and all statistical analyses were done on this group.
A statistically significant decrease occurred in the test anxiety scores of both the experimental and control groups. The EFT group had a significantly greater decrease than the PMR group (p < 0.05). The scores of the EFT group were lower on the emotionality and worry subscales (p < 0.05). Both groups scored higher on the test examinations after treatment; though the improvement was greater for the EFT group, the difference was not statistically significant.