The effects of guided written disclosure on psychological symptoms among parents of children with cancer

Elaine Duncan, Yori Gidron, Eyal Rabin, Liza Gouchberg, Asher M. Moser, Josef Kapelushnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines whether structured writing about receiving a diagnosis and treatment for pediatric cancer reduces distress among highly distressed parents of children with cancer (PCWC). Eight PCWC completed measures of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and depressive symptoms at two baselines, and again after writing, with 1-month gaps between assessments. Using a guided disclosure protocol (GDP), parents were asked to write about receiving the diagnosis first in a chronological manner, then to explicitly label their emotions at the time of diagnosis and explain the impact of the child's illness on their life. Finally, they were asked to reflect on current feelings, future coping ability, and personal growth. Although symptoms of distress did not change between baselines, significant reductions were found in PTSS from the first baseline to postwriting, but not in depression. This preliminary study suggests that the GDP may reduce PTSS in distressed PCWC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-384
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Family Nursing
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2007

Keywords

  • Distress
  • Guided written disclosure
  • Parents
  • Pediatric cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Family Practice

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