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

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT01773811
First Posted: January 23, 2013
Last Update Posted: May 15, 2014
The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Mississippi, Oxford
  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: Trauma-Assigned Behavioral: Narrative Writing: Trauma-Spontaneous

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Effects of Narrative Writing Duration and Post-writing Processing Instructions on PTSD

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 ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Physical health [ Time Frame: 1 month after final writing session ]
    Physical health as measured by the Pennebaker Inventory of Limibic Languidness (PILL)


Enrollment: 49
Study Start Date: February 2012
Study Completion Date: May 2014
Primary Completion Date: May 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: Narrative Writing: Trauma-Assigned
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: Trauma-Assigned
Individuals 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.
Active Comparator: Narrative Writing: 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: Trauma-Spontaneous
Individuals will be writing about their most traumatic life event for 3 consecutive days for 20 minutes each. Those in the spontaneous group will be given no further instructions.

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

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
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
Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT01773811


Locations
United States, Mississippi
The University of Mississippi
University, Mississippi, United States, 38677
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Mississippi, Oxford
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Tom Lombardo, PhD University of Mississippi, Oxford
  More Information

Responsible Party: University of Mississippi, Oxford
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01773811     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: UMO-0004
First Submitted: January 18, 2013
First Posted: January 23, 2013
Last Update Posted: May 15, 2014
Last Verified: May 2014

Keywords provided by University of Mississippi, Oxford:
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Narrative Writing

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Stress Disorders, Traumatic
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders
Mental Disorders