REMIND: The effectiveness and working mechanisms of EMDR therapy compared to exposure therapy for PTSD patients

Introduction

There are several therapies available for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Commonly used therapies are exposure therapy and EMDR, which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. The effectiveness of exposure therapy and EMDR has been demonstrated in research in civilian populations. In military populations, the effectiveness of exposure therapy has also been demonstrated but not much research has been done on EMDR. So up till now, there is no clear evidence that EMDR is effective for treating military personnel and veterans with PTSD. Nevertheless, EMDR is widely used in the MGGZ and other veteran institutions and there are many success stories. In this study we will therefore compare the effectiveness of EMDR and exposure therapy in a group of military personnel and veterans with PTSD. This will allow us to examine the effectiveness of EMDR therapy for military personnel. 

In the REMIND study, military personnel with PTSD will be randomly assigned to a group. One group will receive EMDR and the other group will receive exposure therapy. Before and after treatment we will conduct a clinical interview and the participant will fill in a number of questionnaires. This will be used to determine the change in PTSD symptoms following treatment so we can study the effectiveness of EMDR. We also aim to investigate the working mechanism of EMDR. For this purpose we will take 2 computer memory tasks in combination with an EEG brain scan before the treatment. 

Project overview

Objective:

  1. Study the effectiveness of EMDR in comparison to PE (exposure therapy) for treating military personnel and veterans with PTSD
  2. Study the working mechanisms of EMDR

Target population:

Dutch military personnel and veterans (18-65 years) who have been diagnosed with PTSD.

Timeframe:

The study started in 2022. The expected duration is 3 years.

Results:

Results are expected by the end of 2025.