Research Output

Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) for DSM-5 posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults with intellectual disabilities: A case study review

  Objective: People with intellectual disabilities may be at a greater risk for exposure to traumatic events
and consequently develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although eye movement desensitization
and reprocessing (EMDR) is an established treatment for PTSD in the general population, research on
people with intellectual disabilities is limited. This review aims to critically appraise for the 1st time case
studies published in this area, because no controlled investigations are available at present. Method: An
in-depth literature review was conducted, and 6 case studies were identified from peer-reviewed journals
describing EMDR therapy for psychological trauma in 14 adults with a mild to severe intellectual
disability. These case studies were reviewed in terms of methods of assessing PTSD and trauma histories
and delivery of EMDR therapy in order to establish the usefulness and acceptability of this intervention
for people with intellectual disabilities. Results: All cases demonstrated improvement in symptoms
following EMDR therapy, with around half of the cases stating no disturbance at posttreatment and at
follow-up assessments. No adverse effects were reported, demonstrating that EMDR is well tolerated by
people with intellectual disabilities. Conclusions: EMDR is a safe and acceptable intervention for people
with intellectual disabilities, and there is now sufficient evidence to conduct a randomized control trial
to establish its effectiveness for DSM–5 PTSD in this population group.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    01 November 2016

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    American Psychological Society

  • DOI:

    10.1037/tra0000101

  • ISSN:

    1942-9681

  • Library of Congress:

    RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    616.8 Nervous & mental disorders

Citation

Jowett, S., Karatzias, T., Brown, M., Grieve, A., Paterson, D. & Walley, R. (2016). Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) for DSM-5 posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults with intellectual disabilities: A case study review. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. 8(6), 709-719. doi:10.1037/tra0000101. ISSN 1942-9681

Authors

Keywords

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR); Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); intellectual disabilities; learning difficulties;

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