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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Appl. Math. Stat. | doi: 10.3389/fams.2019.00037

Use of Recurrence Quantification Analysis to Examine Associations Between Changes in Text Structure Across an Expressive Writing Intervention and Reductions in Distress Symptoms in Women with Breast Cancer

Marlene S. Lyby1, Mimi Mehlsen1, Anders B. Jensen2, Dana H. Bovbjerg3, Johanne S. Philipsen4 and  Sebastian Wallot5*
  • 1Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • 2Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • 3UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, United States
  • 4Department of Language and Communication, Faculty of Humanities, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • 5Interacting Minds Centry, Max-Planck-Institut für empirische Ästhetik, Germany

The current study presents an exploratory analysis of using Recurrence Quantification Analysis (RQA) to analyze text data from an Expressive Writing Intervention (EWI) for Danish women treated for Breast Cancer. The analyses are based on the analysis of essays from a subsample with the average age 54.6 years (SD = 9.0), who completed questionnaires for cancer-related distress (IES) and depression symptoms (BDI-SF). The results show a significant association between an increase in recurrent patterns of text structure from first to last writing session and a decrease in cancer-related distress at three months post-intervention. Furthermore, the change in structure from first to last essay displayed a moderate, but significant correlation with change in cancer-related distress from baseline to nine months post-intervention. The results suggest that changes in recurrence patterns of text structure might be an indicator of cognitive restructuring that leads to amelioration of cancer-specific distress.

Keywords: : Expressive writing intervention, Text structure, recurrence quantification analysis, cognitive restructuring, Narrative

Received: 08 Feb 2019; Accepted: 12 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Peter Beim Graben, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany

Reviewed by:

Michael Spivey, University of California, Merced, United States
Franco Orsucci, University College London, United Kingdom
Qian Lu, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Lyby, Mehlsen, Jensen, Bovbjerg, Philipsen and Wallot. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Sebastian Wallot, Max-Planck-Institut für empirische Ästhetik, Interacting Minds Centry, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, sebastian.wallot@googlemail.com