Send to

Choose Destination
Psychol Health. 2011 Apr;26(4):433-47. doi: 10.1080/08870440903477212. Epub 2010 Apr 21.

A randomised controlled trial of written self-disclosure for functional recurrent abdominal pain in youth.

Author information

School of Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts, and Health Sciences Research Institute, University of California, Merced, CA 95343, USA.


Written self-disclosure (WSD) has rarely been evaluated as an intervention for paediatric diseases. To test the efficacy of WSD for youths aged 11-18 years with a diagnosis of functional recurrent abdominal pain (RAP), 63 were randomly assigned to receive standard medical care (SMC) alone or WSD in addition to SMC. WSD was administered in three 20-min sessions, one in the clinic and two by phone in the home. Measures of self-reported pain frequency, somatisation severity and quality of life (QOL) were completed at baseline and 3- and 6-month follow-up points. Blind review of electronic medical records provided data on clinic visit and phone consultation utilisation for the 6 months prior to and following baseline. Practice of WSD in addition to SMC was associated with significantly fewer activity-limiting gastrointestinal pain experiences (d = 0.61) and reduced health care utilisation (d = 0.59) 6 months later compared to SMC alone. There were no significant effects for somatisation severity or QOL in 6 months. WSD may be a useful treatment adjunct for reducing pain frequency and resulting health care utilisation in a portion of youths with functional RAP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center