Effects of written disclosure on psychophysiological stress among parents of children with autism: A randomized controlled pilot study

https://cloudfront.escholarship.org/dist/prd/content/qt8ch6r4xt/qt8ch6r4xt.pdf?t=pe8zee

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The effects of guided written disclosure on psychological symptoms among parents of children with cancer.

J Fam Nurs. 2007 Aug;13(3):370-84.

Duncan E1, Gidron Y, Rabin E, Gouchberg L, Moser AM, Kapelushnik J.

This study examines whether structured writing about receiving a diagnosis and treatment for pediatric cancer reduces distress among highly distressed parents of children with cancer (PCWC). Eight PCWC completed measures of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and depressive symptoms at two baselines, and again after writing, with 1-month gaps between assessments. Using a guided disclosure protocol (GDP), parents were asked to write about receiving the diagnosis first in a chronological manner, then to explicitly label their emotions at the time of diagnosis and explain the impact of the child’s illness on their life. Finally, they were asked to reflect on current feelings, future coping ability, and personal growth. Although symptoms of distress did not change between baselines, significant reductions were found in PTSS from the first baseline to postwriting, but not in depression. This preliminary study suggests that the GDP may reduce PTSS in distressed PCWC.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17641114

Effects of Guided Written Disclosure Protocol on mood states and psychological symptoms among parents of off-therapy acute lymphoblastic leukemia children.

J Health Psychol. 2013 Jun;18(6):727-36. doi: 10.1177/1359105312462434. Epub 2012 Nov 23.

Martino ML1, Freda MF, Camera F.

This study assesses the effects of Guided Written Disclosure Protocol on psychological distress in mothers and fathers of off-therapy acute lymphoblastic leukemia children. An experimental group participated in the writing intervention with a control group subject only to test-taking standards. The Symptom Questionnaire and Profile of Mood States were administered at baseline, post-intervention, and follow-up. Guided Written Disclosure Protocol had significant effects on the progressive reduction of anxiety, depression, somatic symptoms, hostility, tension-anxiety, and fatigue-inertia within the experimental group. However, the control group distress levels tended to worsen over time. The mediating role of emotional processing was highlighted.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23180872

Health and writing: meaning-making processes in the narratives of parents of children with leukemia.

Qual Health Res. 2015 Mar;25(3):348-59. doi: 10.1177/1049732314551059. Epub 2014 Sep 22.

Freda MF1, Martino ML2.

There is literary evidence stating that expressive writing affects health outcomes. Nevertheless, the processes underlying its benefits remain unclear. In our previous article, we described the benefits of writing; in this article, we investigate the meaning-making processes underlying the traumatic experiences of parents of children with leukemia in off-therapy. We collected the writings of 23 parents and grouped them according to the parents’ psychological outcome (low/good/high) with respect to anxiety, as assessed during a follow-up. We qualitatively analyzed the texts written by parents with good psychological outcomes to highlight their main meaning-making processes, that is, how they put into words the shattering experience, reordered the events, connected their emotions and the events, reevaluated the event, and reconstructed the time process. We found that parents with low/high outcomes articulated these processes differently. Furthermore, we discussed the uses and functions of written narration for each group.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25246328