Emergency room intervention to prevent post concussion-like symptoms and post-traumatic stress disorder. A pilot randomized controlled study of a brief eye movement desensitization and reprocessing intervention versus reassurance or usual care.
Up to 20% of patients presenting at an emergency room (ER) after a stressful event will for several months suffer from very diverse long-lasting symptoms and a potentially significant decline in quality of life, often described as post concussion-like symptoms (PCLS). The objectives of our randomized open-label single-center study were to assess the feasibility of psychologist-led interventions in the context of the ER and to compare the effect of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) with reassurance and usual care. Conducted in the ER of Bordeaux University Hospital, the study included patients with a high risk of PCLS randomized in three groups: a 15-min reassurance session, a 60-min session of EMDR, and usual care. Main outcomes were the proportion of interventions that could be carried out and the prevalence of PCSL and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) three months after the ER visit.