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EMDR in Telemental Health Counseling for Healthcare Workers Caring for COVID-19 Patients: A Pilot Study

Abstract : Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a strain on health systems around the world. Healthcare workers, on the front lines of the epidemic, are facing major and potentially traumatic stressful events, overwhelming their ability to cope and their resources. Objective: The objective of this article will be to show how the use of the URG-EMDR protocol in a telemental health setting has proven to be feasible and effective in the treatment of a group of healthcare professionals working in nursing homes or hospital services that were highly mobilized during the acute phase of COVID-19. Method: 17 participants, registered nurses (N = 7) and licensed practical nurses (N = 10), were remotely treated using the URG-EMDR protocol in a single session. The assessment focused on anxiety and depressive symptoms (HAD scale) and the level of perceived disturbance (SUD). An additional evaluation of the satisfaction with the remote psychotherapy intervention was conducted. Results: As the URG-EMDR protocol has already proven itself during emergency interventions, it is interesting to note that its remote use in the treatment of healthcare providers caring for COVID-19 patients allows for an improvement in the emotional state and a decrease in perceived disturbance, in a single session. This result is maintained 1 week after the intervention, despite the continued professional activities of the participants and the continuity of the event. Moreover, the remote therapy setting was judged satisfactory by the patients, even if it required adjustments and certain recommendations for practice. Discussion: The remote use of the URG-EMDR protocol opens up innovative perspectives for early interventions and the prevention of the development of psychological disorders in the long term following a situation of acute stress.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-02971521
Contributor : Lydia Peter <>
Submitted on : Monday, October 19, 2020 - 3:23:51 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 12:34:13 PM

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Cyril Tarquinio, Marie-Jo Brennstuhl, Jenny Rydberg, Fanny Bassan, Lydia Peter, et al.. EMDR in Telemental Health Counseling for Healthcare Workers Caring for COVID-19 Patients: A Pilot Study. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, Informa Healthcare, In press, pp.1-12. ⟨10.1080/01612840.2020.1818014⟩. ⟨hal-02971521⟩

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