A randomized controlled trial of emotionally expressive writing for women with metastatic breast cancer.

Health Psychol. 2010 Jul;29(4):460-6. doi: 10.1037/a0020153.

Low CA1, Stanton AL, Bower JE, Gyllenhammer L.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3128513/

 

Objective

To test the effects of emotionally expressive writing in a randomized controlled trial of metastatic breast cancer patients and to determine whether effects of the intervention varied as a function of perceived social support or time since metastatic diagnosis.

Design

Women (N = 62) living with Stage IV breast cancer were randomly assigned to write about cancer-related emotions (EMO; n = 31) or the facts of their diagnosis and treatment (CTL; n = 31). Participants wrote at home for four 20-min sessions within a 3-week interval.

Main Outcome Measures

Depressive symptoms, cancer-related intrusive thoughts, somatic symptoms, and sleep quality at 3 months postintervention.

Results

No significant main effects of experimental condition were observed. A significant condition × social support interaction emerged on intrusive thoughts; EMO writing was associated with reduced intrusive thoughts for women reporting low emotional support (η2 = .15). Significant condition × time since metastatic diagnosis interactions were also observed for somatic symptoms and sleep disturbances. Relative to CTL, EMO participants who were more recently diagnosed had fewer somatic symptoms (η2 = .10), whereas EMO participants with longer diagnosis duration exhibited increases in sleep disturbances (η2 = .09).

Conclusion

Although there was no main effect of expressive writing on health among the current metastatic breast cancer sample, expressive writing may be beneficial for a subset of metastatic patients (including women with low levels of emotional support or who have been recently diagnosed) and contraindicated for others (i.e., those who have been living with the diagnosis for years).

Rescuing speech: Teaching a writing aesthetic for counseling practice

Pages 73-86 | Published online: 14 Jun 2010

This author locates and describes the narrative therapy practice of writing poetic documents, and outlines a process for teaching counselor education students to craft poetic documents. Rescued speech poems, as poetic documents, are crafted by a therapist using only “rescued speech,” that is only words that clients have spoken in therapy. Significant words are noted during therapy—rescued, on narrative therapy terms—and later arranged in poetic form by the counselor. The author describes the steps of a teaching process intended to support student counselors to develop linguistic attunement and a writing aesthetic. Illustrative examples of poetic documents written with rescued speech are offered. In these ways, the article contributes from a narrative therapy perspective to the wider field of poetry therapy.

Writing for emotion management: Integrating brain functioning and subjective experience

Pages 23-29 | Published online: 25 Feb 2010

The brain’s emotion processing system is briefly discussed as a model for understanding the emotional benefits of expressive writing. The act of writing integrates both brain functioning and subjective experience.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08893671003594406

Community writing as a learning experience

Pages 107-113 | Published online: 10 Nov 2010

This brief report examines community writing as part of a community arts programme at The Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) Food Depot in Montreal. We chose the locale of a food bank because we wanted to improve the life-coping mechanisms of food recipients and to empower them, through the arts, to have the self-confidence to join the mainstream of society.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0889-3670310001596266

Writing my life: a narrative and poetic-based autoethnography

Pages 183-190 | Published online: 02 Aug 2010

This essay is an autoethnographic account of my life as a writer writing my life. I employ narrative and poetic inquiry as a way to learn, know, and become more aware of my journey with writing as a healing modality. The overall purpose of this essay is to offer a personal account of my writing experience as a means to contribute to the ongoing exploration of writing as a communicative practice and method of inquiry; with the hope that by sharing my story, my words will resonate with readers/writers/poets.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08893675.2010.498214

A systematic writing program as a tool in the grief process: part 1.

Patient Prefer Adherence. 2010 Dec 6;4:425-31. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S14864.

Furnes B1, Dysvik E.

The basic aim of this paper is to suggest a flexible and individualized writing program as a tool for use during the grief process of bereaved adults.

METHODS:

An open, qualitative approach following distinct steps was taken to gain a broad perspective on the grief and writing processes, as a platform for the writing program.

RESULTS:

Following several systematic methodological steps, we arrived at suggestions for the initiation of a writing program and its structure and substance, with appropriate guidelines.

DISCUSSION:

We believe that open and expressive writing, including free writing and focused writing, may have beneficial effects on a person experiencing grief. These writing forms may be undertaken and systematized through a writing program, with participation in a grief writing group and with diary writing, to achieve optimal results.

CONCLUSION:

A structured writing program might be helpful in promoting thought activities and as a tool to increase the coherence and understanding of individuals in the grief process. Our suggested program may also be a valuable guide to future program development and research.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3003609/

Sustained pain reduction through affective self-awareness in fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial.

J Gen Intern Med. 2010 Oct;25(10):1064-70. doi: 10.1007/s11606-010-1418-6. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Hsu MC1, Schubiner H, Lumley MA, Stracks JS, Clauw DJ, Williams DA.

Affect and how it is regulated plays a role in pain perception, maintenance of pain, and its resolution. This randomized, controlled trial evaluated an innovative affective self-awareness (ASA) intervention, which was designed to reduce pain and improve functioning in individuals with fibromyalgia.

PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS:

Forty-five women with fibromyalgia were randomized to a manualized ASA intervention (n = 24) or wait-list control (n = 21). The intervention began with a one-time physician consultation, followed by 3 weekly, 2-h group sessions based upon a mind-body model of pain. Sessions focused on structured written emotional disclosure and emotional awareness exercises. Outcomes in both conditions were measured by a blinded assessor at baseline, post-intervention, and 6-month follow-up.

MEASURES:

The primary outcome was pain severity (Brief Pain Inventory); secondary outcomes included tender-point threshold and physical function (SF-36 Physical Component Summary). Intent-to-treat analyses compared groups on outcomes using analysis of covariance and on the proportion of patients achieving ≥ 30% and ≥ 50% pain reduction at 6 months.

RESULTS:

Adjusting for baseline scores, the intervention group had significantly lower pain severity (p < 0.001), higher self-reported physical function (p < 0.001), and higher tender-point threshold (p = 0.02) at 6 months compared to the control group. From baseline to 6 months, 45.8% of the ASA intervention group had ≥ 30% reduction in pain severity, compared to none of the controls (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

The affective self-awareness intervention improved pain, tenderness, and self-reported physical function for at least 6 months in women with fibromyalgia compared to wait-list control. This study suggests the value of interventions targeting emotional processes in fibromyalgia, although further studies should evaluate the efficacy of this intervention relative to active controls.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2955480/