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Writing to Keep on Living: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on Creative Writing Therapy for the Management of Depression and Suicidal Ideation.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this review and meta-analysis was to explore the effectiveness of creative writing therapies for the management of depression and suicidal ideation.

RECENT FINDINGS: Twenty one of the 31 reviewed studies showed that creative writing significantly improved depressive symptoms, while five studies suggested improvement in other symptoms. The results of meta-analyses showed that narrative writing significantly reduced depression compared to those in neutral writing or treatment as usual condition in both post intervention and follow-up. However, the number of studies exploring the effects of creative writing in suicidal ideation was too low to perform a meta-analysis. A structured and well-targeted intervention using creative writing could have beneficial results for the management of depressive symptoms. More studies are needed to explore the potential benefits of creative writing for reducing suicidal ideation.

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