EMDR intervention following climatic emergencies: Preliminary findings and community support


Climate and Mental Health: Increasingly frequent climatic emergencies pose significant mental health challenges.

• Health Systems' Role: Public health systems, especially those adhering to Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services (HPH&HS) standards, are pivotal in deploying effective early interventions.
• EMDR's Utility: Evaluating EMDR's broader applicability beyond PTSD in early post-disaster interventions is critical.

• Evaluate EMDR's Effectiveness: To assess how EMDR can be implemented immediately post-disaster to reduce acute stress and prevent chronic conditions.
• Enhance Community Resilience: Leveraging EMDR within HPH frameworks to bolster community resilience and collective recovery.
• Support Public Health Objectives: To demonstrate the importance of integrating EMDR into public health strategies for managing trauma in disaster-affected populations.

• Team and Timing: A swift response to a severe atmospheric event in northeastern Italy was carried out by a team of 12 psychotherapists from ASUFC, in collaboration with independent practitioners, offering immediate aid to families impacted.
• EMDR Sessions: The intervention, targeting both adults and children, yielded preliminary data from 17 adult participants (average age: 56 years, SD = 14), who underwent 1 to 4 EMDR sessions to address acute and prospective stress symptoms.

• Assessment Tools: Pre- and post-intervention psychological assessments were conducted using three specific tools: the Subjective Units of Distress Scale (SUD), the Impact of Event Scale– Revised (IES-R), and the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation (CORE-OM) to measure stress levels, PTSD risk factors, and overall psychological functioning.
• Network Collaboration: The intervention leveraged a strong network with local general practitioners and pediatricians, directed by the ASUFC, to facilitate a community-integrated approach.
• Reductionin Stress Levels: Preliminary findings indicated a significant decrease in SUD scores, with all p-values falling below .01, suggesting a substantial reduction in immediate stress perceptions among the participants.
• Lower PTSD Risk Factors: The IES-R scores also showed meaningful reductions, supporting the efficacy of EMDR in mitigating PTSD-related risk factors.
• Improved Psychological Functioning: Enhancements in overall psychological well-being and functioning were evident through the CORE-OM assessments, pointing to a broader impact of the intervention beyond just trauma symptoms






Fabio D'Antoni
Lisiana Ardizzone
Laura Cichetti
Debora Furlan

Original Work Citation

D'Antoni, F., Arizoone, L., Cichetti, L., & Furlan, D. (2024, June). EMDR intervention following climatic emergencies: Preliminary findings and community support. Poster presentation at the 21st EMDR Europe Conference, Dublin, Ireland. doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.22100.00641



“EMDR intervention following climatic emergencies: Preliminary findings and community support,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 25, 2024, https://francineshapirolibrary.omeka.net/items/show/29226.

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