Nia NG, Afrasiabifar A, Behnammoghadam M Comparing the effect of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) with guided imagery on pain severity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. J Pain Res. 2018 Sep 28;11:2107-2113. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S158981. eCollection 2018. (Original study)

Objective: Previous studies reported the reduction of pain following eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and guided imagery; however, the effectiveness of these modalities was not compared. The current study aimed to compare the effects of EMDR and guided imagery on pain severity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Material and methods: In this randomized controlled trial, 75 patients were selected using non-random method, and then allocated into two intervention groups and one control group. Interventions were conducted individually in six consecutive sessions for the intervention groups. The Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Scale was used for data collection before and after the interventions. Collected data were analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistics in SPSS. Significance level was considered at P<0.05.

Results: The post-intervention mean scores of physiological, affective, sensory-discriminative, and cognitive pain sub-scales for patients in guided imagery group were 16.3±2.2, 13.9±2.2, 30.6±3.4, and 23.2±3, respectively. The post-intervention mean scores of these sub-scales in the EMDR group were 22±1.5, 18.1±1.8, 39.6±2.8, and 29±1.8, respectively. A significant difference was observed in the mean pain score between EMDR and guided imagery groups, and also between each intervention group and the control group (P=0.001).

Conclusion: Guided imagery and EMDR could reduce pain in rheumatoid arthritis, but pain reduction was more following the EMDR than guided imagery.

Discipline Area Score
Physician 4 / 7
Comments from MORE raters

Physician rater

Interesting. I am not sure about patient acceptance.

Physician rater

Alternative pain desensitisation methods for RA pain compared with controls that showed some positive effect.
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