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Expressive Writing for Co-Occurring Depression and Alcohol Misuse

This study is enrolling participants by invitation only.
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
Information provided by:
Baylor College of Medicine
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00818636
First received: January 6, 2009
Last updated: March 16, 2010
Last verified: March 2010
  Purpose

***Please note that this study does not offer comprehensive treatment program for alcohol abuse or depression. Please do not contact the study staff if you are seeking psychological treatment. Further, this study is only enrolling people who are clients at Career and Recovery Resources, Inc., in Houston.

The hypothesis is that writing about feelings and thoughts will help people who are in group treatment feel less depressed and abuse alcohol less.


Condition Intervention
Depression
Alcohol, Drinking
Behavioral: Expressive writing (in addition to group therapy as usual).

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Expressive Writing for Co-Occurring Depression and Alcohol Misuse

Further study details as provided by Baylor College of Medicine:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Beck Depression Inventory, Second Edition [ Time Frame: Baseline, Post-writing (2 weeks post-baseline), and One Month Follow-Up (Six weeks post-baseline) ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Number of Alcoholic Drinks Consumed [ Time Frame: 30 days pre-baseline compared to 30 days post-intervention ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Estimated Enrollment: 160
Study Start Date: August 2008
Estimated Study Completion Date: April 2010
Estimated Primary Completion Date: March 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Expressive Writing
In addition to attending group therapy as usual, participants write about their feelings about an issue of their choosing three times during a two week period for at least 20 minutes each time.
Behavioral: Expressive writing (in addition to group therapy as usual).
Participants in the expressive writing condition write about their feelings about an issue of their choosing three times, for at least 20 minutes each time, during a two week period.
Active Comparator: Treatment as Usual
Participants attend group therapy as usual only.
Behavioral: Expressive writing (in addition to group therapy as usual).
Participants in the expressive writing condition write about their feelings about an issue of their choosing three times, for at least 20 minutes each time, during a two week period.

Detailed Description:

Expressive writing applied to a variety of populations (e.g., HIV, cancer, PTSD, depression) has been associated with health improvements, reductions in symptoms of emotional distress, and one preliminary study found reductions in alcohol misuse among college students. Data suggest that expressive writing is a technique to facilitate emotional processing that can influence a number of clinical outcomes by facilitating cognitive restructuring (Hunt, 1998; Pennebaker, 2004). In addition to examining cognitive content change following expressive writing, we believe the effects of emotional writing on mood and drinking may involve two additional processes that have been found significant for both depression and alcohol misuse, namely experiential avoidance and ruminative thinking. We hypothesize that expressive writing will lead to less drinking and enhanced mood by reducing: (1) negative thought content, (2) experiential avoidance of unpleasant private events (e.g., negative thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations), and (3) ruminative thinking.

  Eligibility

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

***Please note that this study does not offer comprehensive treatment program for alcohol abuse or depression. Please do not contact the study staff if you are seeking psychological treatment. Further, this study is only enrolling people who are clients at Career and Recovery Resources, Inc., in Houston.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Enrolled in group therapy program at Career and Recovery Resources, Inc.
  • Must be at least 18.
  • Willing and able to participate in the study through the one month follow up.
  • Able to provide the contact information of at least two people who can generally locate their whereabouts.
  • Speak English fluently.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Inability to read, write, speak English.
  • History of bipolar or psychotic disorders.
  • Severe medical, cognitive and /or psychiatric impairment that precludes cooperation with study protocol.
  • Substance withdrawal symptoms requiring medical attention.
  • Currently receiving other individual psychosocial therapy outside of C&R for substance abuse or other psychiatric conditions with the exception of AA, NA or CA.
  • Impending incarceration or other factor that would create inability or unwillingness to participate in the 6 week long study period (e.g., halfway house or other aftercare program restrictions).
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00818636

Locations
United States, Texas
Career and Recovery Resources, Inc.
Houston, Texas, United States, 77004
Sponsors and Collaborators
Baylor College of Medicine
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Carrie L Dodrill, Ph.D. The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston- ** This contact information should not be used for counseling or informational purposes**
Study Chair: Angela L Stotts, Ph.D. The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston- ** This contact information should not be used for counseling or informational purposes**
  More Information

Additional Information:
Publications:
Responsible Party: Carrie L. Dodrill, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine, Dept. of Psychiatry
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00818636     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1R03AA016819-01A1
Study First Received: January 6, 2009
Last Updated: March 16, 2010
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by Baylor College of Medicine:
expressive writing
ruminating
ruminative thinking
experiential avoidance
depression
alcohol
drinking
emotional processing

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Depression
Depressive Disorder
Behavioral Symptoms
Mental Disorders
Mood Disorders

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on November 24, 2014