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Title: Emotional disclosure and pain symptoms : a brief intervention with back pain patients : 6 single cases
Author: Lee, Anne.
ISNI:       0000 0000 7812 0310
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2002
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Back pain affects an estimated 70% of adults at some point during their lifetime. Approximately 1 % of these develop chronic pain - a disabling state characterized by persistent pain with associated psychological and social problems. Research has identified a number of psychosocial factors which are associated with the progression from acute to chronic pain. These include a high incidence of traumatic life events and negative affect, low satisfaction with social support, reduced self-efficacy and a tendency to inhibit the expression of negative affect. Research indicates that writing about traumatic events is associated with therapeutic effects on physical and psychological health. A number of psychosocial mechanisms which may contribute to these beneficial effects have been proposed. One argument holds that benefits are due to disinhibition at both a physiological and psychological level. A second hypothesis attributes the effects to changes in cognitive processes which facilitate improvements in coping and self-efficacy. Emotional disclosure may also result in greater social integration, allowing the individual to relate more openly with others. It may therefore be an effective intervention in chronic pain conditions which are associated with deficits in self-efficacy and emotional expressiveness and low satisfaction with social support in the context of a high incidence of stressful life events. This study which comprised six single cases, investigated the effects of writing about stressful events on pain and distress. Participants were patients with chronic back pain attending outpatients' physiotherapy or osteopathy clinics. Two (of 3) participants in the intervention condition, reported clinically Significant decreases in depression and functional limitation three weeks following the intervention. There was no evidence of improvement in participants in the control condition. Results are discussed with reference to methodological weaknesses and suggestions for future research are presented.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology