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The effect of the guided disclosure protocol on daily stress, mood and coping

By Fiona Jane Eldridge


Objective: \ud This expressive writing study had three main objectives: 1) To investigate the efficacy of the Guided Disclosure Protocol (Gidron et al., 2002) in improving the mood and wellbeing of individuals who had experienced a stressful, traumatic or upsetting event in the last 5 years, 2) To explore the hypothesis that expressive writing might work by enabling individuals to cope better with daily hassles and, 3) To consider whether high depression, baseline stress levels or alexithymia moderated expressive writing effects.\ud \ud Design and Methods: \ud Eighty-eight healthy participants completed baseline measures in depression (DAS-21) and alexithymia (TAS) and were randomised into two writing conditions (GDP, control). All participants wrote for twenty minutes over three consecutive days before completing a seven-day daily diary immediately following writing (Time 1) and at follow-up two months later (Time 2). In the diary participants were asked to report on their daily hassles and record subsequent mood (PANAS) and coping (Brief COPE). The DAS-21 was repeated at Time 2 after diary completion.\ud \ud Results: \ud The data were analysed using hierarchical linear modelling. Analysis found little evidence in support of the main effects of disclosure on mood. Expressive writers were found to report greater negative mood than controls at Time 2. In addition there was no evidence that coping improved with the exception of an increase in acceptance coping for expressive writers over controls. There was little evidence that high baseline depression, mood and alexithymia moderated expressive writing effects.\ud \ud Discussion: \ud Although no support for the efficacy of the GDP was found, the results from this study are important as they highlight the potential costs and benefits of using daily diary studies to assess mood and coping outcomes. The novel application of daily diary methodology to expressive writing research is discussed

Publisher: Academic Unit of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences (Leeds)
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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