COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.
Get the latest public health information from CDC:

Get the latest research information from NIH: Menu

Effect of Emotional Freedom Technique and Diaphragmatic Breathing on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00514956
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : August 10, 2007
Last Update Posted : September 22, 2009
Information provided by:
Soul Medicine Institute

Brief Summary:
A great many soldiers are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Clinical experience with many people has shown the effectiveness of the techniques of Energy Psychology for rapidly alleviating PTSD symptoms. The study proposes to determine whether a very brief course of treatment (3 sessions) with a common form of Energy Psychology called Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) has an effect on the stress biochemistry of subjects, by measuring their levels of stress hormones (cortisol, DHEA) before and after treatment.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic Behavioral: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Phase 1

Detailed Description:

The Purpose of the Research: The purpose of this study is to test the effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) versus Diaphragmatic Breathing in Reducing Post Traumatic Stress Disorders.

The Scientific or Scholarly Rationale: Clinical experience and anecdotal reports have demonstrated EFT to be effective for a wide range of behavioral disorders, including PTSD. However with the exception of several studies demonstrating the efficacy of EFT for the treatment of simple phobias, there have been no formal research studies in this area. It is the intention of this study to extend the phobia studies to the area of PTSD, and to determine what other conditions EFT might be effective in treating. Another intention of this study is to see whether, and to what degree, changes in psychological functioning (as measure by the PAI and TSI) are reflected in physiological markers such as HRV (Heart Rate Variability) and levels of cortisol and DHEA.

The Procedures to be Performed: Approximately 8 to 10 subjects would be randomly designated to either the experimental or Diaphragmatic Breathing control groups. There will be 4-5 subjects in the EFT experimental group and 4-5 subjects in the control Diaphragmatic Breathing group.

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 12 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Effect of Emotional Freedom Technique and Diaphragmatic Breathing on PTSD
Study Start Date : September 2007
Actual Primary Completion Date : January 2009
Actual Study Completion Date : January 2009

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in baseline cortisol and DHEA production [ Time Frame: Six months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Changes in scores on Trauma Assessment Inventory and other instruments normed for trauma [ Time Frame: Six months ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • PTSD
  • Recent Service in Afghanistan or Iraq
  • Good Health History

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Illegal Drug Use
  • Recent Physical Trauma
  • Head injuries, concussions, amputees
  • Mental health issues prior to entering military service

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00514956

Layout table for location information
United States, West Virginia
Marshall University Medical School
Charleston, West Virginia, United States
Marshall University, Joan Edwards School of Medicine
Huntington, West Virginia, United States, 25701
Sponsors and Collaborators
Soul Medicine Institute
Layout table for investigator information
Study Director: Dawson Church, PhD Soul Medicine Institute
Additional Information:
Publications of Results:
Church, D., Geronilla, L., & Dinter, I. (2009) Psychological symptom change in veterans after six sessions of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). International Journal of Healing and Caring, January, 9:1.

Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: Dawson Church, Executive Director, Soul Medicine Institute Identifier: NCT00514956    
Other Study ID Numbers: PTSD-ACEP-SMI-MU-1
First Posted: August 10, 2007    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 22, 2009
Last Verified: September 2009
Keywords provided by Soul Medicine Institute:
Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD)
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Layout table for MeSH terms
Stress Disorders, Traumatic
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders
Mental Disorders