Self-administered EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) in Individuals With Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Trial

Gunilla Brattberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether
self-administered Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) lead to
reduced pain perception, increased acceptance and coping
ability, and better health-related quality of life in individuals
with fibromyalgia.
Methods: Eighty-six women, diagnosed with fibromyalgia and
on sick leave for at least 3 months, were randomly assigned to
a treatment group or a wait-listed group. For those in the treatment
group, an 8-week EFT treatment program was administered
via the internet.
Results: Upon completion of the program, statistically significant
improvements were observed in the intervention group
(n=26) in comparison with the wait-listed group (n=36) for variables
such as pain, anxiety, depression, vitality, social function,
mental health, performance problems involving work or other
activities due to physical as well as emotional reasons, and stress
symptoms. In addition, pain catastrophizing measures, such as
rumination, magnification, and helplessness, were significantly
reduced, and activity level was significantly increased in the treatment
group compared to the wait-listed group. However, no difference
in pain willingness between the groups was observed.
The number needed to treat (NNT) regarding recovering from
anxiety was 3. NNT for depression was 4.
Conclusion: Self-administered EFT seems to be a good complement
to other treatments and rehabilitation programs. The
sample size was small and the dropout rate was high. Therefore
the surprisingly good results have to be interpreted with caution.
However, it would be of interest to further study this simple and
easily accessible self-administered treatment method, which can
even be taught over the internet.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-35
JournalIntegrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal (IMCJ)
Issue number4 Aug/Sep
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Human Computer Interaction

Free keywords

  • Energy psychology Emotional Freedom Techniques EFT fibromyalgia internet-based interventions
  • certec


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