A randomized controlled trial of veterans with clinical levels of PTSD symptoms found significant improvements after EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). While pain, depression, and anxiety were not the targets of treatment, significant improvements in these conditions were found. Subjects (N = 59) received six sessions of EFT coaching supplementary to primary care.
They were assessed using the SA-45, which measures 9 mental health symptom domains, and also has 2 general scales measuring the breadth and depth of psychological distress.
Anxiety and depression both reduced significantly, as did the breadth and depth of psychological symptoms. Pain decreased significantly during the intervention period (— 41%, p < .0001). Subjects were followed at 3 and 6 months, revealing significant relationships between PTSD, depression, and anxiety at several assessment points. At follow-up, pain remained significantly lower than pretest.
The results of this study are consistent with other reports showing that, as PTSD symptoms are reduced, general mental health improves, and that EFT produces long-term gains for veterans after relatively brief interventions.