Emotional freedom techniques (EFT) to reduce exam anxiety in Turkish nursing students


European Journal of Integrative Medicine, vol.32, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.eujim.2019.101002
  • Journal Name: European Journal of Integrative Medicine
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Emotional freedom technique, EFT, Exam anxiety, Nursing students, Women's health, Nursing, Stress
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Introduction: Nursing education involves among other things tracking the learning process. Many students experience anxiety prior to exams, and they try to cope with it. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) on the reduction of exam anxiety in nursing students in the Women's Health and Diseases Nursing course in Turkey. Methods: In this outcomes study, 80 s-year nursing students participated in three EFT sessions, each consisting of six two-minute parts. The study took an average of 46 min. Pre- and post-treatment measurements included: the socio-demographics of participants, the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI Tx-1, Tx-2), and the Subjective Units of Distress (SUD) scale. The SUD scale was used before and after sessions. Prior to and following the three sessions, the BAI and the STAI Tx 1 and 2 were administered. Results: EFT significantly reduced exam anxiety. Almost half of the students were using some method of coping with anxiety and the most common methods were listening to music and breathing exercises. However, the initial anxiety level was quite high. State and trait anxiety levels, as well as exam anxiety, decreased, statistically significant, after the EFT sessions. At the end of three sessions of EFT, more than half success was determined in the subjective exam anxiety level. Conclusions: This study showed that three EFT sessions administered in a group setting, reduced and helped them better cope with exam anxiety as well as other anxiety indicators in nursing students.