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Effects of guided written disclosure of stressful experiences on clinic-visits and symptoms in frequent clinic-visitors

Effects of guided written disclosure of stressful experiences on clinic-visits and symptoms in frequent clinic-visitors
Effects of guided written disclosure of stressful experiences on clinic-visits and symptoms in frequent clinic-visitors
Background. Psychosocial variables such as major stressful life events/daily stressful events have been associated with health care utilization.
Objective. Our aim was to examine the effects of a guided disclosure protocol (GDP) of past traumas on symptoms and clinic visits among frequent clinic attenders.
Methods. Forty-one frequent clinic attenders (2 visits/3 months) took part. Patients were randomly assigned individually to either a casual content writing control group (n = 19) or a trauma content writing experimental GDP group (n = 22). GDP patients wrote about an upsetting event chronologically (day 1), verbally described their thoughts and feelings and descibed the event's impact on life (day 2), and finally wrote about their current perspective on and future coping with the event (day 3). Three months later, patients were reassessed blindly for symptoms and clinic visits, and an average of 15 months later they were assessed blindly for clinic visits again.
Results. Compared with controls, GDP patients reported lower symptom levels at 3 months (2.3 versus 5.2), and made fewer clinic visits during the 3 (1.3 versus 3.0) and 15 month (5.1 versus 9.7) follow-ups. The percentage of GDP patients making 10 visits during the 15 month follow-up was smaller (10%) than among controls (33%).
Conclusions. The findings extend previous findings to frequent clinic users, using a new form of written disclosure aimed at shifting trauma from implicit to explicit memory. The GDP may be an inexpensive additional intervention in primary care for reducing symptoms and clinic visits among frequent clinic users.
clinic visits, frequent attenders, memory shift, somatization, written disclosure
0263-2136
161-166
Gidron, Yori
56310d95-dcfd-4178-95f1-1b1049f4c1f7
Duncan, Elaine
d32e46a2-d742-492c-bf62-b6a7c576c124
Biderman, Alon
99d9e411-8b83-4a34-8127-4847aca4cacb
Lazar, Aya
4794935d-c377-4385-8c18-0af35053ad14
Tandeter, Howard
13b3db6a-e292-4715-b140-09db668f7b31
Shvartzman, Pesach
59f8b9b9-e691-4213-a7b3-d368f6f14f03
Gidron, Yori
56310d95-dcfd-4178-95f1-1b1049f4c1f7
Duncan, Elaine
d32e46a2-d742-492c-bf62-b6a7c576c124
Biderman, Alon
99d9e411-8b83-4a34-8127-4847aca4cacb
Lazar, Aya
4794935d-c377-4385-8c18-0af35053ad14
Tandeter, Howard
13b3db6a-e292-4715-b140-09db668f7b31
Shvartzman, Pesach
59f8b9b9-e691-4213-a7b3-d368f6f14f03

Gidron, Yori, Duncan, Elaine, Biderman, Alon, Lazar, Aya, Tandeter, Howard and Shvartzman, Pesach (2002) Effects of guided written disclosure of stressful experiences on clinic-visits and symptoms in frequent clinic-visitors. Family Practice, 19 (2), 161-166. (doi:10.1093/fampra/19.2.161).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background. Psychosocial variables such as major stressful life events/daily stressful events have been associated with health care utilization.
Objective. Our aim was to examine the effects of a guided disclosure protocol (GDP) of past traumas on symptoms and clinic visits among frequent clinic attenders.
Methods. Forty-one frequent clinic attenders (2 visits/3 months) took part. Patients were randomly assigned individually to either a casual content writing control group (n = 19) or a trauma content writing experimental GDP group (n = 22). GDP patients wrote about an upsetting event chronologically (day 1), verbally described their thoughts and feelings and descibed the event's impact on life (day 2), and finally wrote about their current perspective on and future coping with the event (day 3). Three months later, patients were reassessed blindly for symptoms and clinic visits, and an average of 15 months later they were assessed blindly for clinic visits again.
Results. Compared with controls, GDP patients reported lower symptom levels at 3 months (2.3 versus 5.2), and made fewer clinic visits during the 3 (1.3 versus 3.0) and 15 month (5.1 versus 9.7) follow-ups. The percentage of GDP patients making 10 visits during the 15 month follow-up was smaller (10%) than among controls (33%).
Conclusions. The findings extend previous findings to frequent clinic users, using a new form of written disclosure aimed at shifting trauma from implicit to explicit memory. The GDP may be an inexpensive additional intervention in primary care for reducing symptoms and clinic visits among frequent clinic users.

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More information

Published date: 2002
Keywords: clinic visits, frequent attenders, memory shift, somatization, written disclosure

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 18579
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/18579
ISSN: 0263-2136
PURE UUID: ab0132f9-03ad-43c5-ab59-562707522e3c

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Date deposited: 15 Dec 2005
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 16:35

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