INTRODUCTION: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has been a significant public health problem due to its high mortality and morbidity rates, has particularly affected the fear and anxiety levels of health professionals. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) on the anxiety and fear of COVID-19 levels of nurses in the emergency department.
METHODS: This study was designed in line with a pre-and post-test, two-group methodology. A total of 88 participants (experimental group, 44; control group, 44) were included in this study. Data were collected using the following four tools: Questionnaire Form, Subjective Units of Disturbance (SUD), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and Fear of COVID-19 scale.
RESULTS: A total of 84 nurses, 41 of whom were in the intervention group and 43 in the control group, were included in this study. After the intervention, the fear of COVID-19 (-4.58±2.47) levels and the mean anxiety intensity (SUD) of the participants decreased (-5.61±1.16) in the experimental group, and the difference was statistically significant (p<0.001) when compared to that of the control group; the state anxiety (-8.82±7.26) and trait anxiety (-1.16±2.97) averages decreased, the decrease in state anxiety was statistically significant (p<0.001), while the decrease in trait anxiety was not significant (p>0.005). There was no significant change in the mean scores of the control group (P19S=-0.09±2.47; SUD=0±1.15; DDS=-0.22±7.25; SDS=-0.04±2.97).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: This study showed that EFT sessions administered in a group setting reduced and helped the emergency nurses better cope with COVID-19 anxiety and fear levels.