Back to top

The Effect of a Brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Self-Intervention on Anxiety, Depression, Pain and Cravings in Healthcare Workers

Citation: Church, D. & Brooks, A. (2010a). The Effect of a Brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Self-Intervention on Anxiety, Depression, Pain and Cravings in Healthcare Workers. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, Oct/Nov.9.5. To view Abstract search Archives Index at www.imjournal.com

Abstract

This study examined whether self-intervention with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy that combines a cognitive and a somatic element, had an effect on health care workers’ psychological distress symptoms. The participants were 216 attendees at 5 professional conferences over a span of 1 year. Psychological distress, as measured by the Symptom Assessment 45 (SA-45), and self-rated pain, emotional distress, and craving were assessed before and after 2 hours of self-applied EFT by using a within-subjects design. A 90-day follow-up was completed by 53% of the sample, with 61% reporting using EFT subsequent to the workshop. Significant improvements were found on all distress subscales and ratings of pain, emotional distress, and cravings at posttest (P<.001). Gains were maintained at follow-up for most SA-45 scales. The severity of psychological symptoms was reduced (-45%, P<.001) as well as the breadth (-40%, P<.001), with significant gains maintained at follow-up. Greater subsequent EFT use correlated with a greater decrease in symptom severity at follow-up (P<.034, r=.199), but not in breadth of symptoms (P<.0117, r=.148). EFT provided an immediate effect on psychological distress, pain, and cravings, which was replicated across multiple conferences and health care provider samples.

Editor’s Note

216 attendees at 5 professional conferences over a span of 1 year were the subjects of this study to measure the effectiveness of EFT on a variety of quality of life measurements. Psychological distress, self-rated pain, emotional distress, and cravings were assessed before and after 2 hours of self-applied EFT. A 90-day follow-up was completed by half of those attendees, with 61% reportedly using EFT after the conference. Significant improvements were found on all distress subscales and ratings of pain, emotional distress, and cravings at posttest after the conference and gains were maintained at follow-up for most of the psychological distress scales. The full paper not available for review by editor.