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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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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-02943855
Contributor : Cyril Tarquinio <>
Submitted on : Sunday, September 20, 2020 - 10:48:02 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - 10:47:56 AM

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M.-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-02943855⟩

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