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Trauma-focused CBT Versus EMDR in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified October 2013 by VU University of Amsterdam.
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Paul M.G.Emmelkamp, VU University of Amsterdam Identifier:
First received: July 14, 2008
Last updated: October 31, 2013
Last verified: October 2013
This study will evaluate the effectiveness of trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapy (TF-CBT) versus eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of trauma survivors with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Patients will be randomly assigned to TF-CBT or EMDR. Follow-up assessments will be conducted at 3 and 12 months post-treatment. In addition to comparing the efficacy of the two protocols, an additional focus will lie on identifying predictors for treatment outcome.

Condition Intervention Phase
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Behavioral: Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Behavioral: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Phase 2
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Trauma-focused CBT vs. EMDR in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by VU University of Amsterdam:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • PTSD symptom severity: (a) interviewer rating (PSS-I); (b) self-report (PDS) [ Time Frame: Assessed at post-treatment, 3 months and 12 months follow-up ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Depressive symptom severity (Beck Depression Inventory, BDI) [ Time Frame: assessed at post-treatment, 3 months and 12 months follow-up ]
  • Severity of anxiety symptoms (Beck Anxiety Inventory, BAI) [ Time Frame: assessed at posttreatment, 3 months and 12 months follow-up ]
  • Trauma-related appraisal (Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory, PTCI) [ Time Frame: post-treatment ]

Estimated Enrollment: 90
Study Start Date: July 2008
Estimated Study Completion Date: July 2014
Estimated Primary Completion Date: July 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Treatment group 1
Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT)
Behavioral: Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy
This intervention comprises 10 sessions of trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy for PTSD with the components (a) prolonged imaginal exposure, (b) in vivo exposure, and (c) cognitive restructuring.
Experimental: Treatment group 2
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Behavioral: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
This intervention comprises 10 sessions of EMDR according to the standard protocol.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • A full diagnosis of PTSD according to the DSM-IV or subthreshold PTSD (criteria for intrusive re-experiencing are fulfilled and either three avoidance/numbing symptoms or two hyperarousal symptoms are present)
  • PTSD is related to one or more single-event traumas and participants have a clear memory of this event/these events (sufficient for constructing scenes to be used in exposure)
  • Age between 18 and 70
  • Sufficient fluency in Dutch to complete treatment and research protocol
  • If participants are using anti-depressants, they need to be on a stable dose for at least 2 weeks before the beginning of treatment and remain on this dose throughout the treatment.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Dementia or other severe cognitive impairment
  • Psychosis
  • Depression with suicidal ideation
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Anti-social personality disorder
  • Substance dependence
  • Current use of tranquilizers
  • Exposure to prolonged and/or chronic trauma ("type-II-trauma")
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00716638

Contact: Thomas Ehring, PhD +31-20-5256858 ext 6858

PsyQ Recruiting
Zaandam, Netherlands, 1500 AE
Sponsors and Collaborators
VU University of Amsterdam
Principal Investigator: Paul MG Emmelkamp, Professor Universiteit van Amsterdam
Study Director: Thomas Ehring, PhD Universiteit van Amsterdam
  More Information

Responsible Party: Paul M.G.Emmelkamp, Professor, VU University of Amsterdam Identifier: NCT00716638     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2008-KP-343
Study First Received: July 14, 2008
Last Updated: October 31, 2013

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Stress Disorders, Traumatic
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Pathologic Processes
Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on April 21, 2017