Effects of Narrative Writing Duration and Post-writing Processing Instructions on PTSD

This study is enrolling participants by invitation only.
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Mississippi, Oxford
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT01773811
First received: January 18, 2013
Last updated: November 11, 2013
Last verified: November 2013
  Purpose

The current study proposes to directly measure how processing after participating in written disclosure about a traumatic life event affects physical and psychological outcomes.


Condition Intervention
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Behavioral: Narrative writing

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Effects of Narrative Writing Duration and Post-writing Processing Instructions on PTSD

Resource links provided by NLM:


Further study details as provided by University of Mississippi, Oxford:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Level of PTSD symptoms as measured by the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale [ Time Frame: 1 month after final writing session ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Physical health [ Time Frame: 1 month after final writing session ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Physical health as measured by the Pennebaker Inventory of Limibic Languidness (PILL)


Estimated Enrollment: 51
Study Start Date: February 2012
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2014
Estimated Primary Completion Date: June 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
No Intervention: Control
Individuals will write objectively about the events of their day.
Experimental: Trauma-assigned
Individuals will write about their most traumatic life experience and be instructed to continue to think about their writing topic in the weeks following writing.
Behavioral: Narrative writing
Individuals in the trauma arms will be writing about their most traumatic life event for 3 consecutive days for 20 minutes each. Those in the assigned group will be given instructions and weekly reminders to continue to think about their most traumatic event, while the spontaneous group will be given no further instructions for processing after writing.
Active Comparator: Trauma-spontaneous
Individuals will write about their most traumatic life experience but will not be given further instructions for processing. Any additional processing about their writing topic in the weeks following writing will be considered spontaneous.
Behavioral: Narrative writing
Individuals in the trauma arms will be writing about their most traumatic life event for 3 consecutive days for 20 minutes each. Those in the assigned group will be given instructions and weekly reminders to continue to think about their most traumatic event, while the spontaneous group will be given no further instructions for processing after writing.

Detailed Description:

Previous research has established the potential for narrative writing about traumatic events to result in positive benefits for physical and psychological health. Research has also provided evidence that written disclosure may reduce post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Several mechanisms of action have been proposed to explain why written disclosure produces positive benefits, but all have focused on processes occurring during the writing session. It has been suggested, however, that additional processing may occur after the writing exercises are over, yet no research has studied the influence of this processing on outcomes. The current study proposes to directly measure how processing after participating in written disclosure affects physical and psychological outcomes.

  Eligibility

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • experienced a traumatic life event (DSM-IV-TR Criterion A)
  • currently experiencing clinically significant levels of PTSD symptoms

Exclusion Criteria:

  • currently receiving psychotherapy
  • on medication that is not stable (i.e. medication has been changed within the past 6 weeks)
  Contacts and Locations
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01773811

Locations
United States, Mississippi
The University of Mississippi
University, Mississippi, United States, 38677
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Mississippi, Oxford
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: University of Mississippi, Oxford
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01773811     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: UMO-0004
Study First Received: January 18, 2013
Last Updated: November 11, 2013
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by University of Mississippi, Oxford:
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
narrative writing

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorders, Traumatic
Anxiety Disorders
Mental Disorders

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on April 16, 2014