Psychological and Physiological Symptoms of Psoriasis After Group EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Treatment: A Pilot Study
By Patricia Hodge
Background: The documented relationship between stress and psoriasis suggests that noninvasive means of stress reduction may improve quality of life in persons with psoriasis.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to (a) educate persons with psoriasis in the use of the innovative, self-applied, noninvasive emotional healing intervention Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and (b) test its effects on psoriasis symptoms.
Method: A time series, within-subjects, repeated measures design was used. Persons with psoriasis (n = 12) were taught EFT in a 6-hr workshop and instructed to use EFT daily. Symptoms were measured using the Skindex-29 questionnaire. Psychological conditions were assessed using the Symptom Assessment-45 (SA-45), which has 9 subscales, and two general scales for the severity (GSI) and breadth (PST) of psychological distress. Participants were assessed pre-intervention, post intervention, and at 1 and 3 month follow-ups.
Results: Psychological symptom severity (GSI) improved post-workshop, demonstrating both clinical (raw score) and statistical significance (-56.43%, p=.043). Improvements (T score) (-50.67%, p=.002) were sustained at three 3-month follow-up (-50.54%, p=.001; -38.43%; p=.002). Symptom breadth (PST) also improved post-workshop clinically (-49.24%, p=.005), and that improvement was sustained over time (-46.93%, p=.019). Skindex-29 scores indicated improvements in emotional distress (-41.56%, p=.002), symptoms (-49.05%; p=.001), and functioning (-58.31%; p=.001) post-workshop, with changes over time to -80.56% (p=<.001), -74.95% (p=<.001), and -89.99% (p=.001) respectively, and at 3 months. Differences by gender were found in psychological symptom severity and skin-related symptom distress.
Conclusion: Participants experienced significant improvement in functioning and psychological, emotional, and physical symptoms.
Relief often was immediate and sustained, and improved over time.Highly significant findings from this small sample support the robust treatment effects found in other EFT research, and clinical trials of EFT for psoriasis and other chronic illnesses are warranted.
Keywords: psoriasis, stress, anxiety, depression, Emotional Freedom Techniques.