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Effect of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) on severity of stress in emergency medical technicians

Authors Behnammoghadam M, Kheramine S, Zoladl M, Cooper RZ, Shahini S

Received 10 October 2018

Accepted for publication 27 February 2019

Published 18 April 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 289—296


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman

Mohammad Behnammoghadam,1 Shirali Kheramine,2 Mohammad Zoladl,3 Rebecca Zahra Cooper,4 Sharif Shahini1

1Student Research Committee, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences; 2Clinical Psychology, School of Medicine, Social Determinants of Health, Research Center, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences; 3Department of Nursing, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran; 4Psychology, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

Background and objectives: People working in health care centers and hospitals, especially the emergency departments, often experience severe stresses due to the nature of their jobs. The current study was aimed at determining the effect of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) on severity of stress of medical emergency technicians.
Materials and methods: In the current field trial, 50 emergency medical technicians working in emergency medical centers were selected by convenience sampling method and randomly assigned to either the intervention or control group; each group had 25 subjects. In the intervention group, EMDR training was provided during five consecutive sessions, while in the control group the subjects did not receive any intervention. The data collection instrument in the study, in addition to the demographic questionnaire, was the Alken stress scale. Data had normal distribution and were analyzed using independent t, the Mann–Whitney, or chi-squared tests, and their within-group comparisons were performed by paired t and marginal homogeneity tests.
Results: The mean score of stress before and after the intervention in the intervention and control groups was 32.2±7.8 and 33.6±13.8, respectively. However, after EMDR implementation, the intensity of stress in the intervention and control groups was 25.9±7.3 and 33±13.1, respectively and the difference between the groups was statistically significant (P<0.05). Chi-squared test showed that after the intervention, the degree of stress intensity in the experimental group was lower than that of the control group, and there was a significant difference between the groups in terms of stress intensity (P<0.05).
Conclusion: The current study results indicated that EMDR technique significantly reduced the intensity of stress in the intervention group and can be helpful to control stress experienced by emergency medical staff.

Keywords: stress, emergency medical technicians, eye movement desensitization reprocessing

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