Expressive writing intervention and self-reported physical health out-comes - Results from a nationwide randomized controlled trial with breast cancer patients

Mikael B Jensen-Johansen, Mia S O'Toole, Søren Christensen, Heiddis Valdimarsdottir, Sandra Zakowski, Dana H Bovbjerg, Anders B Jensen, Robert Zachariae

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


    The objective was to examine the effect of Expressive Writing Intervention (EWI) on selfreported
    physical symptoms and healthcare utilization in a nationwide randomized controlled
    trial with Danish women treated for primary breast cancer, and to explore participant
    characteristics related to emotion regulation as possible moderators of the effect. Women
    who had recently completed treatment for primary breast cancer (n = 507) were randomly
    assigned to three 20 min. home-based writing exercises, one week apart, focusing on emotional
    disclosure (EWI) of a distressing experience (their cancer or a non-cancer topic) or a
    non-disclosing topic (control). Outcomes were self-reported physical symptoms and healthcare
    utilization (visits and telephone contacts with GP) 3 and 9 months post-intervention.
    Potential moderators were repressive coping, alexithymia, rumination, social constraints,
    and writing topic. Results revealed no group by time interaction effects for any outcomes.
    Moderation analyses showed that 1) low alexithymic women in the EWI group showed larger
    decreases in GP telephone calls over time than both high alexithymic women and controls
    and 2) women in the EWI group writing about their own cancer, but not women writing about
    other topics, showed a larger decrease than controls. The results from this large randomized
    trial are concordant with previous findings showing that EWI is unlikely to be a generally
    applicable intervention to improve health-related outcomes in cancer patients and cancer
    survivors. However, written disclosure might have a beneficial impact for individuals who
    write about their own cancer, as well as for those low in alexithymia.
    TidsskriftPLoS ONE
    Udgave nummer2
    Sider (fra-til)e0192729
    StatusUdgivet - 23 feb. 2018


    • brystkræft