The physical and psychological health benefits of positive emotional writing: Investigating the moderating role of Type D (distressed) personality

Expressive writing and positive writing for participants with mood disorders: An online randomized controlled trial

Karen A.BaikieaLiesbethGeerligsabKayWilhelmab


Journal of Affective Disorders

Volume 136, Issue 3, February 2012, Pages 310-319
he following questionnaires were completed online: Centre for Epidemiological Studies—Depression Scale (CES-D), Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS), Pennebaker Inventory of Limbic Languidness (PILL), overall health questions, Temperament and Personality Questionnaire (TPQ) and COPE Inventory (COPE). Participants then wrote for 20 min on 4 occasions, and then completed follow-up questionnaires.
The expressive writing, positive writing and time management control writing groups all reported significantly fewer mental and physical symptoms for at least 4 months post-writing. When expressive and positive writing groups were combined, the resulting `emotional writing group’ showed significantly lower scores on the DASS stress subscale than the control writing group at all time-points. Potential reasons are discussed and areas of further study identified.