The Use of Expressive Writing as a Therapeutic Prevention for Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder : A Proposed Study
MetadataShow full item record
Among persons who have experienced a traumatic event in their life, the failure to disclose emotions regarding the event often leads to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One of the most at-risk populations for developing PTSD is the military. A growing field of research has found that expressive writing is an effective treatment for persons with PTSD. The proposed study will examine the use of expressive writing as a therapeutic prevention method for veterans who initially screen negatively for PTSD upon returning from Iraq. Participants will be randomly assigned to 3 groups (the confrontation group, the daily life group, and the no writing group) where they will be given their respective assignments for the following 8 months. All participants will initially be given checklists and questionnaires to test the number of symptoms of PTSD they have. There will be a 4 month follow up evaluation to observe if any of the participants have developed more symptoms of PTSD. Then at the 8 month follow up evaluation all participants will be given the same checklists and questionnaires they had completed at the beginning of the study to identify how effective expressive writing is in the prevention of symptoms of PTSD. I predict that veterans who are asked to confront their emotions regarding the traumatic event(s) they have experienced will exhibit the fewest symptoms of PTSD after the use of expressive writing.