Death Stud. 2010 Jul;34(6):475-99.
Bereavement-specific written disclosure trials have generally demonstrated null effects, but these studies have not directed the focus of writing. This randomized controlled trial compared directed writing that focused on either sense-making or benefit-finding, both associated with adjustment to loss, to traditional, non-directed emotional disclosure and a control condition. Bereaved undergraduates (n = 68) completed three 20-min writing sessions over 1 week. Intervention effects were found on prolonged grief disorder, depressive, and posttraumatic stress symptoms 3 months postintervention, and the benefit-finding condition appeared particularly efficacious. Physical health improved over time in all treatment groups. Findings suggested that directing written disclosure on topics associated with adjustment to bereavement may be useful for grieving individuals.