THE EFFECTS OF EXPRESSIVE RELEASE THERAPY UPON THE PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING OF RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS PATIENTS.
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study was designed to assess the effects of Expressive Release Therapy upon the physical and psychosocial aspects of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. It was anticipated that the release of constricted emotion, particularly anger, might produce (1) reductions in the severity of and amount of time in pain, (2) improved musculoskeletal functioning, and (3) improved psychological functioning. Six women, aged 26-68, with RA in active II or III participated in this A-B with follow-up replicated design. Pain levels were reported on visual analogues; musculoskeletal examinations were conduced by a rheumatology technician; morning stiffness and daily functioning were assessed by self-report instruments. Erythrocyte sedimentation rates used the Westergren method of analysis. Psychosocial functioning was assessed by the degression and hostility scales of the SCL-90, and Eysenck Personality Inventory and the Katz Adjustment Scale. The design consisted of a four week baseline control, a ten week treatment, and a four week follow-up period. Results were analyzed by visual analysis, Friedman analysis of variance, Pearson product moment correlations and Wilcoxon signed rank W tests. A significance level of .05 was selected and a criteria for "meaningful change" was established at ± .5 SE(m). Visual analysis revealed that pain levels tended to be lower at post-session across all but the baseline phase. Treatment failed to produce a significant effect on pain and on musculoskeletal functioning, morning stiffness, daily functioning, and erythrocyte sedimentation rates. Treatment failed to produce significant effects on psychosocial functioning. However, "possibly meaningful changes" were found in all three psychosocial measures. The study did find support for the contention that the constriction of hostile affect is positively related to the severity of pain. The findings of the study lend support to the effectiveness of Expressive Release Therapy as a means to enhance the coping strategies of RA patients.
Degree ProgramCounseling and Guidance