Jain, S., & Rubino, A. (2012). The effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques for optimal test performance. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 4(2), 15-25. doi: 10.9769.EPJ.2012.4.2.SJ
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Summary by Adam Boughey, Research Associate and Trainee Health Psychologist
Moscow, ID: USA.
To determine whether EFT can reduce test anxiety compared to diaphragmatic breathing (DB) and a group receiving no treatment (NT).
Controlled before and after study.
A total of 168 college and university students were recruited but there was a 73% (n = 122) attrition during data collection 1, and a further 13% (n = 6) attrition during data collection 2. A total of n = 40 (M = 14, F = 26, age range = 18-30 years) results were analysed (EFT: n = 11; DB: n = 6; NT: n = 23).
Self-care (eating healthily, taking adequate rest, exercise, and relaxation).
Sarason Reactions to Tests (RTT).
Symptom Assessment-45 (SA-45).
Westside Test Anxiety Scale.
Pre-post measures for all groups along with a qualitative list of problems participants felt contributed to their anxiety.
Participants randomly assigned to groups [no randomisation method, therefore considered controlled before and after].
Two-hour training for EFT and DB (Rubino) during week 4. NT participants received no intervention during active phase of study.
Weeks 5-8, EFT and DB participants instructed to apply methods to assist study and control test anxiety. Practice of intervention for 5 minutes prior to each study session and for 5 minutes in the hour before taking a test.
Midterm exams and cessation of EFT or DB, along with post-test measures.
End of semester, completion of final round (second set) of post-test measures.
Comparison of means between groups pre-post 1 and post-test 2.
Four ANOVAs: comparison of groups (EFT, DB, & NT) on outcome measures.
Significant (p < 0.05) difference between DB and EFT + NT. DB increase in self-care compared to marginal decrease for EFT and NT groups. No significant differences between EFT and NT. Reactions to Tests
Significant (p < 0.05) difference between DB and EFT + NT. DB lower test anxiety compared to marginal decrease in test anxiety for EFT, along with increased test anxiety for NT group. Symptom Assessment-45 and Westside Test Anxiety Scale
No significant differences between groups.
Qualitative data (post-test 1 & 2)
Increased relaxation during homework but still test anxiety.
No perceivable academic benefits but less stress and more relaxation.
Although test grades increase, still doubt over whether intervention was a factor in this.
EFT helped reduce distraction during tests.
DB helped increase calmness during acute exam stress.
* * OR * *
Test anxiety causes, effects, and interventions have been widely studied. This study seeks to determine the efficacy of a single brief intervention – Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) – to support participants’ ability to shift attention appropriately to achieve optimal levels of both test anxiety and test performance.
The initial sample consisted of 168 undergraduates from 3 universities in the inland Northwest United States, who were randomly assigned to 3 different groups. Group 1 learned EFT, group 2 learned Diaphragmatic Breathing (DB), and group 3 served as a no-treatment control. Participants in the 2 experimental groups received two 2-hour lessons. The Sarason Reactions to Tests, Symptom Assessment-45 Questionnaire, and Westside Test Anxiety Scale instruments, as well as a 5-item self-care questionnaire and a request for a qualitative list of individual, test-related concerns, were administered as pre- and posttreatment measures, with a second follow-up at the end of the semester.
Subsequent analyses of variance revealed significant improvements in both the DB and EFT groups on most measures, with gains maintained on follow-up. URL