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Research & Studies

Effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) vs Sleep Hygiene Education Group Therapy (SHE) in Management of Sleep Disorders Among Elderly

Citation (APA style): Souilm, N., Elsakhy, N. M., Alotaibi, Y. A., & Ali, S. A. O. (2022). Effectiveness of emotional freedom techniques (EFT) vs sleep hygiene education group therapy (SHE) in management of sleep disorders among elderly. Scientific Reports, 12, 6521. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-10456-w


Sleep disorders are common among elderly persons, with deleterious effects on their physical and mental health. Many approaches are used to manage such disorders. Objective: To compare the Emotional Freedom Techniques-Insomnia (EFT-I) and Sleep Hygiene Education (SHE) group therapy as two treatments for insomnia in a geriatric population when delivered, and their effects on sleep quality, depression, and life satisfaction. This open-label randomized controlled trial study was conducted at El-Abbasia Mental Hospital and Osana family wellness elderly nursing home at Maadi, Cairo. It included 60 elderly patients suffering insomnia sleep problems randomized into two equal groups: one group received a Sleep Hygiene Education (SHE) intervention, the other had a form of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) adapted for use with insomnia (EFT-I). A self-administered questionnaire with tools for sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index [PSQI]), depression, and life satisfaction was used to collect data. The fieldwork was from January to March 2021. The two groups had equal median age (70 years), and almost similar gender and place of residence distribution. After the intervention, 73.3% of the EFT group had good sleep quality, compared to 100% in the SHE group (p=.005); the median score of depression (3.00) was higher in the EFT group compared with 0.00 in the SHE group (p<.001); as for life satisfaction, the difference was not statistically significant. The multivariate analyses identified the study intervention as the main statistically significant negative predictor of PSQI and depression scores, and a positive predictor of life satisfaction. Being in the SHE group was a negative predictor of PSQI and depression scores. Both SHE and EFT approaches are beneficial for elderly patients’ sleep quality, with SHE being more effective in ameliorating sleep. Further replication of this study is needed on a large probability sample from different geographical areas to help for the generalization of the results.


insomnia, geriatric, elderly, Emotional Freedom Techniques, EFT, sleep hygiene education, SHE, sleep quality