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Expressive writing : moderator variables for the effectiveness of a web-based intervention using Expressive Writing for chronic pain patients

Rüttgens, C. (2014) Expressive writing : moderator variables for the effectiveness of a web-based intervention using Expressive Writing for chronic pain patients.

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Abstract:Background. Chronic pain is a long-lasting condition with physical as well as psychological consequences. Expressive writing (EW) proves to be beneficial for a variety of problematic conditions, but it has yet to be proven that it can be effective for chronic pain. Benefits of EW include the possibility to express and give meaning to negative emotions. This study aims to examine whether demographic, emotional and physical variables moderate the effectiveness of the EW treatment for participants of the intervention “Living with pain”. Method. “Living with pain” combined the classic writing paradigm with education about emotion regulation for 79 Dutch participants suffering from chronic pain. The results were compared to those of 77 Dutch chronic pain patients who were assigned to a waiting list (WL). A moderation analysis was carried out using linear regression models for the EW and the WL condition. It was tested whether the interaction of the assigned condition and the variables gender, age, level of education, pain intensity, pain duration and catastrophizing moderated the score on pain interference after the treatment. Results. The results show that pain intensity and catastrophizing moderated the score on pain interference after the treatment. EW was more effective for participants scoring low for both pain intensity and catastrophizing. The other variables had no significant effect. Comparing the effects to the WL condition shows that the participants receiving EW treatment scored overall higher on pain interference by the end of the intervention. Conclusion. Based on the results, it is not advised to treat pain patients with EW. If pain patients receive a writing treatment, it is advised to choose patients with a low level of both pain intensity and catastrophizing.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/66277
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