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Cognitive and Health Benefits of Expressive Writing for Family Caregivers Under Stress

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified March 2006 by University of Toronto.
Recruitment status was:  Active, not recruiting
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
Information provided by:
University of Toronto Identifier:
First received: March 14, 2006
Last updated: NA
Last verified: March 2006
History: No changes posted
The purpose of this study is to determine if expressive writing is an effective intervention for reducing stress, enhancing cognition, and improving quality of life for caregivers of older adults with dementia

Condition Intervention Phase
Stress, Psychological Anxiety Behavioral: Expressive Writing Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Toronto:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • General Health Questionnaire
  • Impact of Events Scale
  • Zarit Burden Interview (short form)
  • California Verbal Learning Test
  • Ruff 2 & 7 Selective Attention Test
  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)

Estimated Enrollment: 120
Study Start Date: May 2003
Estimated Study Completion Date: July 2005
Detailed Description:

A significant and growing need exists to support caregivers of older adults with dementia, including methods of support that are easily implemented and targeted at caregivers who can not access multicomponent interventions. The current intervention examines the efficacy of one such approach: expressive writing (EW).

We are examining the efficacy of EW, in terms of its ability to reduce stress, enhance cognition, and improve well-being, by comparing it to two control conditions: objective writing about how caregivers spend their time (time management; TM) and objective writing about non-personal historical events (history writing; HW).


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Primary family caregiver for an older adult with dementia
  • Self-reported caregiver stress or burden
  • Fluency in written/spoken English

Exclusion Criteria:

  • non-family or non-primary caregiver
  • existing use of expressive writing / diary
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00303147

Canada, Ontario
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 1V6
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Toronto
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
Principal Investigator: Corey S Mackenzie, Ph.D. University of Toronto
Principal Investigator: Lynn Hasher, Ph.D. University of Toronto
Principal Investigator: David Goldstein, Ph.D. University of Toronto
  More Information Identifier: NCT00303147     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 11438
Study First Received: March 14, 2006
Last Updated: March 14, 2006

Keywords provided by University of Toronto:
Expressive Writing
Written Emotional Expression
Caregiver Stress

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Stress, Psychological
Behavioral Symptoms processed this record on September 19, 2017