Using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) as a treatment for phantom breast syndrome: Case study

Abstract : Purpose The aim of this research was to challenge the use of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in the treatment of the phantom breast syndrome. Method Two patients agreed to participate in this study and were treated by EMDR therapy, focusing on two target types: traumatic events related to disease experience and phantom breast sensation. Quantitative evaluations were conducted before the first session, just after the last session and as a follow-up three and six months after. Intensity of the pain and intensity of the sensation were measured, as well as anxiety (through STAI) and depression (through CES-D). Qualitative evaluations completed these measures by paints of breast image made by the patients on the first and last sessions. Results Results show the effectiveness of EMDR therapy on all quantitative measures, but also a qualitative and clinical change producing a modification of the body representation of patients and an effective reduction of the phantom breast syndrome. Discussion Results show that EMDR approach can be an encouraging, non-invasive and relatively short strategy. While these results need to be completed by other studies covering a larger population and the use of a control group, they are still encouraging because they suggest that a psychological treatment based on EMDR techniques and adapted to the specificity of phantom breast syndrome could be effective in bringing relief to patients.
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Journal articles
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-01816664
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Submitted on : Friday, June 15, 2018 - 3:16:26 PM
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J. Brennstuhl, C. Tarquinio, S. Montel, J. Masson, F. Bassan, et al.. Using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) as a treatment for phantom breast syndrome: Case study. Sexologies, Elsevier, 2015, 24 (2), pp.e29 - e36. ⟨10.1016/j.sexol.2014.09.004⟩. ⟨hal-01816664⟩

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