Such writing, part of a concept called "narrative" medicine, has been seen as a way to aid communication between seriously ill patients and their doctors, according to an article by Reuters. The study also showed that the act of writing allowed patients to better assess their individual needs.
"The findings suggest that the emotional release of writing, specifically, is what helps patients deal with their cancer pain, according to Cepeda's team. However, they add, it's also possible that the most seriously ill patients find it more difficult to write about their feelings.
"More studies are needed, the researchers conclude, to see whether encouraging seriously ill patients to reveal their emotions in writing benefits their well-being. In addition, they say, studies should look at whether verbally telling one's "story" has positive effects."