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Reduction of Presentation Anxiety in University Students with EFT

Presentation Anxiety

Tapping for PEAS: Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) in reducing Presentation Expression Anxiety Syndrome (PEAS) in University Students
E. Boath, A. Stewart & A. Carryer

IPiHE Innovative Practice in Higher Education vol. 1, No. 2, April 2012

Editor’s Note: Students of all ages must face the challenge of presenting or speaking in front of their peers. Negative feelings ranging from mild nervousness to Presentation Expression Anxiety Syndrome and even more severe phobic reactions may be associated with this situation. This study is an important preliminary study done at Staffordshire University that explores the effectiveness of how EFT tapping can be implemented to help university students with this issue that can significantly impact not only their grades, but possibly reduce the trauma of situations that could have important sequelae for further academic and professional choices. 


Presentation anxiety is one of the most common fears that people express. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) which is also known as tapping is an emerging complementary therapy that has been used to treat a variety of phobias. Participants were a convenience sample of 25 3rd year Foundation Degree level complementary therapy students undertaking a Research Module. The module included an assessed presentation, which was known to generate anxiety among students. The students were given a 15 minute assignment workshop .They then received a 15 minute lecture introducing EFT and were then guided though one round of EFT focussing on their fear of public speaking. The students were assessed using the Subjective Units of Distress (SUDs) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) pre and post EFT. Immediately following their presentation, the students were invited to take part in a brief face to face interview to explore their use of and feelings about EFT. Twenty one of the total sample of 25 students (84%) participated in the research. There was a significant reduction in SUDS (p=0.002), HAD (p = 0.048) and HAD Anxiety Subscale (p=0.037). There was no difference in the HAD Depression Subscale (p=0.719). The qualitative data were analysed using a framework approach which revealed 3 themes: nerves, novelty and the practical application of EFT. Despite the limitations of the study, the results suggest that EFT may be a useful addition to curricula for courses that include oral presentations.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License and as such, no changes were made to the content of the original research.

Proudly hosted by Staffordshire University

Link:  http://journals.staffs.ac.uk/index.php/ipihe/article/view/19

For Full Article: http://journals.staffs.ac.uk/index.php/ipihe/article/view/19/41