This trial is active, not recruiting.

Condition posttraumatic stress disorders
Treatments expressive writing, control
Sponsor University of Toronto
Start date February 2009
End date December 2009
Trial size 90 participants
Trial identifier NCT00831727, 23614, SSHRC 767-2007-2210-4


The purpose of the present study is twofold. First, we will attempt to examine the role that emotion regulation and self-presentation play as potential moderators in the expressive writing paradigm. We hypothesize that expressive writing participants who demonstrate greater abilities to regulate their emotions at baseline will improve more on our outcome measures. We also hypothesize that those expressive writing participants who demonstrate higher levels of self-presentation at baseline will improve less on our outcome measures.

The second aim of the study has two related objectives. First, we will attempt to investigate whether the expressive writing intervention can increase and enhance an individual's emotion regulation abilities. Related to this, we will then go on to examine whether emotion regulation can be looked at as a potential mechanism of action in the expressive writing procedure. Related to these two objectives, we hypothesize that in comparison to the control group, participants in the expressive writing condition will show increases in their ability to regulate their emotions from baseline to four week follow up. Moreover, we predict that greater gains in emotion regulation abilities for the expressive writing participants will be significantly related to greater gains in outcome measures.

United States No locations recruiting
Other countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Allocation randomized
Endpoint classification efficacy study
Intervention model parallel assignment
Masking single blind (subject)
Primary purpose treatment
expressive writing Emotional writing
Participants will write about their experienced trauma for 20 minutes on each of three consecutive days using techniques associated with expressive writing
(Placebo Comparator)
Participants will write as factually as possible about an assigned trivial topic for 20 minutes on each of three consecutive days

Primary Outcomes

Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale
time frame: Initial session; One month follow-up

Secondary Outcomes

Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale
time frame: Initial session; One month follow-up
Pennebaker Inventory of Limbic Languidness
time frame: Initial session; One month follow-up
Beck Depression Inventory, Second Edition
time frame: Initial session; One month follow-up

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants from 18 years up to 65 years old.

Inclusion Criteria: - Fluent in English - Previously experienced trauma (not current or ongoing; excluding bereavement) - Currently experiencing trauma-related distress Exclusion Criteria: - Currently involved in psychotherapy - Currently taking psychotropic medications - Imminent threat to self or others

Additional Information

Official title Examining Potential Moderators and Mediators in the Expressive Writing Intervention: The Role of Affect Regulation and Self-presentation.
Principal investigator Justin M Mattina, M.A.
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in April 2010.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by University of Toronto.