The study was conducted by the Center ÜBERLEBEN (former Berlin Center for Torture Victims, BZFO) and the University of Greifswald under the direction of Dr. Christine Knaevelsrud and Dr. med Philipp Kuwert. The aim of this study is to assess the aceptance and effectiveness of Internet-based writing therapy on postraumatic stress in „Kriegskindern“ of the second world war.
Participants complete questionnaires before and at 3 and 6 month intervals after treatment. The anonymously evaluated data is then compared and statistically analyzed to assess the effectiveness of this therapy approach. In addition, the participants are asked to rate their reactions to the treatment and to the fact that it took place via the internet.
Scientific base of writing therapy For several years, very successful treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder reactions has been offered. This treatment consists of two components. In the first, the traumatic experience is deliberately singled out and worked on. By doing this, the person learns to describe the experiences and to find the appropriate words for doing so. In the second, the client and therapist communicate exclusively via the internet, thereby only in written form.
The instructed speaking/writing about the stressful experience has proven itself to be highly efficient in the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. This has been demonstrated by several studies. Participants showed less involuntary memories and fewer fears afterwards. Depressive and physical complaints were thereby reduced as well.
The internet enables people to seek psychological support from their home.For some people it is easier to talk to another person about their experience without intervisibility. Despite spatial separation, the person is able to work through their trauma accompanied by a personal therapist.
Using the Internet as a communication platform for conducting therapy has been shown to very efficient for the treatment of psychological disorders during the last few years. In the Netherlands, this form of treatment, which was developed by a team led by Prof. Dr. Alfred Lange and Prof. Dr. Paul Emmelkamp, has been assimilated into basic health care coverage and is paid for by health insurance companies.Until now, more than 100 publications on internetbased writing therapy have been published. The results of research has demonstrated clearly that it is a very effective form of treatment.
Medical research results of the past years indicate that psychological traumatization also has an effect on the physiological stress-response strategies. In this regard studies have revealed some modification to the stress-hormonal system, resting pulse rate and blood pressure in the blood lipid parameters.
The aim of this study is to explore these physiological (regulatory) factors statistically in order to establish whether the treatment offered also positively influences physical condition.
In order to investigate the connection between mental and physical health (psyhosomatic), the study also incorporates house-calls by physicians, during which blood pressure and pulse are measured as well as the taking of a blood sample.