Effectiveness of Expressive Writing protocol in Palliative Care Healthworkers: a quantitative study

Effectiveness of Expressive Writing protocol in Palliative Care Healthworkers: a quantitative study


  • Chiara Cosentino University of Parma http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1324-4007
  • Clelia D'apice Department of medicine and Surgery, University of Parma, Italy
  • Maria Del Gaudio Hospital Ramazzini of Carpi, Ausl of Modena, Italy
  • Chiara Bertoletti Post Graduate Specialization in Palliative Care, University of Parma, Italy
  • Manuela Bini Post Graduate Specialization in Palliative Care, University of Parma, Italy
  • Maria Cristina Liotti Post Graduate Specialization in Palliative Care, University of Parma, Italy
  • Elisa Melli Post Graduate Specialization in Palliative Care, University of Parma, Italy
  • Francesca Tesa Post Graduate Specialization in Palliative Care, University of Parma, Italy
  • Leopoldo Sarli Department of medicine and Surgery, University of Parma, Italy
  • Giovanna Artioli Azienda USL-IRCCS of Reggio Emilia, Italy


Palliative Care, Expressive Writing, Resilience, Stress, Compassion satisfaction, Organizational commitment


Background and aim of the work: Palliative Care professionals are exposed to intense emotional environment. This puts them at risk for Compassion Fatigue and Burnout. The protective factors that can counter their onset are Compassion Satisfaction, Organizational Commitment and Resilience. Expressive Writing is a valid tool for adapting to traumatic events and enhancing psychological well-being. Aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of the Expressive Writing in Palliative Care professionals on Compassion Satisfaction, Organizational Commitment, Resilience, Compassion Fatigue and perceived distress. Methods: Prospective experimental study with experimental/control groups and pre/post measurements. 50 Palliative Care professionals were recruited in Northern and Central Italy. Participants filled: Organizational Commitment Questionnaire; ProQol - revision III; Resilience Scale for Adults; Impact of Event-Scale Revised; Emotion Thermometer; ad hoc questionnaire for the evaluation of protocol usefulness. Results: Wilcoxon test demonstrated change in Continuative Commitment (Z = -3.357, p = .001), anger (Z = -2.214, p = .027), sleep (Z = -2.268, p = .023), help (Z = -2.184, p = .029), intrusiveness (Z = -2.469, p = .014), hyperarousal (Z = -2.717, p = .007), and total IES (Z = -2.456 , p =, 014). Mann Whitney test showed a significantly lower score on post-test Intrusiveness in the experimental group (U = 202, p = .038). Conclusions: The Expressive Writing intervention was effective in improving organizational and emotional variables. Expressive Writing supports healthcare professionals in relieving the burden of traumatic episodes, ordering associated thoughts and emotions, and implementing a process of deep comprehension.


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Original articles: Health Professions 1/2021

How to Cite

Effectiveness of Expressive Writing protocol in Palliative Care Healthworkers: a quantitative study . Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2021 Mar. 31 [cited 2024 Jun. 20];92(S2):e2021010. Available from: https://mattioli1885journals.com/index.php/actabiomedica/article/view/11468

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