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Health Psychol. 2006 Mar;25(2):181-9.

Expressive disclosure and benefit finding among breast cancer patients: mechanisms for positive health effects.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563, USA.

Abstract

A randomized trial (n = 60; A. L. Stanton, S. Danoff-Burg, L. A. Sworowski, et al., 2002) revealed that 4 sessions of written expressive disclosure or benefit finding produced lower physical symptom reports and medical appointments for cancer-related morbidities at 3-month follow-up among breast cancer patients relative to a fact-control condition. The goal of this article is to investigate mechanisms underlying these effects. Within-session heart rate habituation mediated effects of expressive disclosure on physical symptoms, and greater use of negative emotion words in essays predicted a decline in physical symptoms. Postwriting mood and use of positive emotion and cognitive mechanism words in essays were not significant mediators, although greater cognitive mechanism word use was related to greater heart rate habituation and negative emotion word use.

2006 APA, all rights reserved

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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