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Poor cognitive-emotional processing may impede the outcome of emotional disclosure interventions

Authors

  • Henriët van Middendorp,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Rinie Geenen

    1. Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Henriët van Middendorp, Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Utrecht University, PO Box 80.140, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands (e-mail: h.vanmiddendorp@uu.nl).

Abstract

Objectives. To examine the potential relevance of alexithymia and induced cognitive–emotional processing for the efficacy of emotional disclosure.

Methods. Associations were examined of alexithymia and emotional and cognitive word use with self-assessed psychological and disease activity outcome in 37 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (23 females; mean age 58 years).

Results. Cognitive and positive emotion word use during the disclosure sessions predicted improved psychological well-being but not disease activity after the intervention. Negative emotion word use and alexithymia did not significantly predict outcome.

Conclusion. Our study suggests that poor cognitive–emotional processing may impede the outcome of emotional disclosure interventions.

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