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EFT Research Paper

Emotional Freedom Technique As An Intervention Tool In Dealing With Stress Among Mothers of the Children with Intellectual Disability

Citation: Pandey, N. & Mitra, P. (June 2020).  Emotional Freedom Technique as an intervention tool in dealing with stress among mothers of the children with intellectual disability.  Tathapi (UGC Care Journal) ISSN:2320-0693 19(4)

Full Paper

Stress describes unpleasant emotion or feeling that affects one’s level of functioning. It is psychological discomfort (like sadness, anxiety, distraction, and symptoms of mental illness) that interrupts individual’s activities of daily living.Stress is one of the most disturbing emotions being faced by the mothers of children having intellectual disability. Hence, the present work on Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) as a therapeutic intervention in dealing with stress of mothers of children with Intellectual Disability (ID). EFT is self-help technique that helps deal with stress.It involves tapping near the energy meridian points around our body
in order to reduce tension, promote physical and emotional healing and thus maintain a healthy mind body connection. The objective of the present work is to establish the fact that EFT is one of the effective ways of dealing with stress among mothers of children with intellectual disability.Purposive sampling was used to include ten (out 20) mothers having children with Intellectual Disability. Subjective Unit of Distress (SUD) and Parental Stress Scale(PSS) questionnaire were used as screening tools. Clients’ feedback was taken after a gap of one month. The result of the study revealed that EFT is effective in reducing stress.The
overall result shows that EFT is an effective way of dealing with stress among mothers of Children with Intellectual Disability.

Key words: Stress, Emotional Freedom Technique, Subjective Unit of Distress, Intellectual Disability, tapping.

Craig’s Notes: 

This is an additional study from researcher Neerja Pandey at Amity University Lucknow Campus, India. She also published EFT as a tool to resolve anxiety; a case tudy approach and Effectiveness of EFT on suicidal ideation among young adults. 

This is a small study of ten mothers between the age of 35-50 with children dealing with the descritpion of Intellectual Disability. From a critique standpoint this is not the stongest of studies but adds to the existing literature explore EFT’s effectiveness for reducing stress for different populations. The paper does not clearly indicate the parameters used to describe the variations or subset of I.D.. There is no control group or waitlist for this trial. Objective measurments were limited to self reported measures including a singe questionaire and SUD levels and t score calculation was the sole statistical analysis.


The author describes Intellectual Disability as “a condition categorized by impairment of skills manifested during the developmental period, which in turn contribute to the overall level of intelligence, i.e. cognitive, language, motor, and social abilities.” The aim of the study was to use EFT to help reduce the stress that these mother/caregivers experience because of stress which can result from being in this demographic. 

She describes the stress they experience which can result in challenges including: “denial that the child is special, guilt and self-blame, shame and embarrassment, difficulty in handling problematic behaviour of the child, physical exhaustion, marital issues, helplessness, worry about future, unrealistic expectations from self as well as from the child, stigma, social isolation, negligence from the family, lack of facilities, low financial status, lack of social contact, and independence to highlight a few. All these add to the stress level. Hence, the need to de-stress.” 

In my reading of the paper, the participants chosen were selected because they had scored as having a moderate stress level based upon use of the Parental Stress Scale questionnaire (PSS) and then again measured 1 month after intervention. A single EFT session was the intervention.  Subjective Unit of Distress (SUD) levels were used to rate subjective stress levels after the session and 1 month later. Mothers were asked to practice EFT regularly for one month then as per their need. 

ResultsThe pre and post scores of mothers on Parental Stress Scale (PSS) shows a significant reduction in stress level after EFT session. The mean of PSS score before EFT session is 45.10 which reduced to 17.07 after one EFT session…Standard deviation was calculated as 9.22, the t score is 9.39 which is significant at 0.001 level.

Significant difference can be seen in stress level before and after the intervention. The mean of SUD score before the EFT intervention is 7.6 which reduced to 0.5 after one EFT session… The mean score in 7.10, standard deviation has been calculated on 1.59, calculated t score is 14.07, and degree of freedom is 9. Significant reduction can be seen in stress level at 0.001. 

Author’s Summary: After EFT session mothers reported that they felt relaxed, energetic and relieved from the stressful feelings.The overall result shows that EFT is an effective way of dealing with stress among mothers of Children with Intellectual Disability…Larger sample size would yield results that can be applicable for general population. Conducting a research study with younger children and teensto teach them tapping technique for dealing with their anxiety, fear, bullying, stress, pain and self-esteem in the classroom would be very beneficial.