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Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing reduces PTSD symptoms compared with fluoxetine at six months post-treatment

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Is eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing more effective than fluoxetine in people with post-traumatic stress disorder?

van der Kolk BA, Spinazzola J, Blaustein ME, et al. A randomized clinical trial of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), fluoxetine, and pill placebo in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: treatment effects and long-term maintenance. J Clin Psychiatry 2007;68:37–46.


Embedded ImageDesign:

Randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:

Double blind.

Embedded ImageFollow-up period:

Eight months (2 months’ treatment plus 6 months’ post-treatment follow-up).

Embedded ImageSetting:

Recruitment via newspaper ads, the Internet, and from medical and mental health professionals, USA; July 2000 to July 2003.

Embedded ImagePatients:

88 people aged 18–65 years old with current post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (DSM-IV) and mixed trauma exposure at least one year before enrolment. Main exclusions: contraindication to study treatments, previous use of study treatments, Global assessment of functioning score <40, unstable medical comorbidity, psychotic or bipolar disorder, alcohol or …

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  • Source of funding: National Institute of Mental Health, USA.


  • Competing interests: None.