Breast cancer appears as a traumatic event that undermines the sense of continuity and integration of own life story often producing psychopathological outcomes. In the expressive writing paradigm this paper assesses the effect of the Guided Written Disclosure Protocol on symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder among 40 women with breast cancer in post-operative drug treatment - 20 under chemotherapy and 20 under biological therapy - through repeated measurements over time of test IES-R. We have performed a series of Repeated Measures Anova. Among the women who have benefit from writing protocol the results show a significant reduction in the intrusion and irritability subscale scores in comparison between sperimental/control group over time. On the contrary, among the control group the increasing trend of the intrusion and irritability subscale scores would suggest that the flow of time, without a psychological space of support, isn’t a "natural remedy" against psychological distress. In addition, the analysis shows that the experiences related to the different therapeutic phases do not affect the possibility to benefit of writing. Within the present study the protocol of writing is configured, therefore, as a useful support tool during the different phases of therapy, which in synergy with medical care, allows to contain the effects of the trauma and to perform, in this way, a preventive function. To promote health, not only after recovery, but since the beginning of the illness.
Keywords: Breast cancer, trauma, writing technique, post-traumatic stress disorder
Maria Luisa Martino, Raffaella Onorato, Veronica D'Oriano, Maria Francesca Freda, Women and breast cancer: effects of guided. Written disclosure protocol on post-traumatic stress in "PSICOLOGIA DELLA SALUTE" 1/2013, pp. 125-136, DOI:10.3280/PDS2013-001007