Citation (APA style): Stapleton, P., & Stewart, M. (2020). Comparison of the effectiveness of two modalities of group delivery of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) intervention for food cravings: Online versus in-person. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 8(2), 158-181. doi:10.4236/jss.2020.82014
Recent research has demonstrated the effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) in addressing overeating behaviours in obese and overweight individuals both in-person (Church & Brooks, 2010; Stapleton et al., 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017) and online (Church, Stapleton, Sheppard & Carter, 2018; Church, & Wilde, 2013). The aim of the present study was to determine whether an online EFT program was as efficacious as the in-person treatment. This was achieved by comparing data from a randomized clinical trial (RCT) for an in-person EFT intervention for weight management (Stapleton et al., 2016), with an equivalent online RCT. Each program targeted food cravings, the subjective power of food, dietary restraint, body mass index, weight, somatic symptomology, anxiety, and depression. Results indicate both modalities were comparable in efficacy and both groups experienced significant reductions from pre-intervention to post-intervention, with reductions remaining significant at follow-ups for food cravings, power of food, depression and weight, with minor differences observed at post-intervention or six-month follow-up for dietary restraint, somatic symptoms, anxiety, and body mass index. Follow-up analyses revealed a significant effect of depression, anxiety, and weight on attrition in the online treatment group.
Keywords: food cravings, anxiety, online therapy, Emotional Freedom Techniques, EFT, tapping