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Reducing psychiatric symptoms in patients with a writing programme

Writing intervention group bid to reduce psychiatric symptoms in patients undergoing cancer diagnosis

Writing intervention group bid to reduce psychiatric symptoms in patients undergoing cancer diagnosis

The Pennebaker expressive writing intervention (EWI) was found to reduce adverse effects of a cancer diagnosis on the patient’s psychiatric health and perceived quality of life, according to a recent study.

Researchers randomly allocated 71 newly diagnosed patients with cancer into an intervention group and a control group (35 and 36 participants respectively). The patients completed baseline self-report questionnaires assessing their quality of life, psychiatric history and symptoms and alexithymia (the personality construct that can be translated from Greek as meaning having no words for emotion, or the inability to identify and describe feelings and emotions of the self). The same measurements were recorded at six months.

Patients in the intervention group were found to have reduced psychopathology, such as decreased anxiety, depression or rancour, and small but


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