Writing Class for Arthritis Sufferers Focuses on Healing

George Humphrey
Feb. 6, 2001

Relief may only be a paragraph away.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, writing about stressful experiences or events reduces the symptoms of people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Based on this research, the Arizona Arthritis Center, a Center of Excellence at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, is hosting the writing class, Enhance Healing by Writing. Irene Lasater, who has been a writing instructor in Tucson and Green Valley since 1990, teaches the class.

The study, conducted at the University of New York at Stony Brook, showed that the health of patients with mild to moderately severe rheumatoid arthritis or asthma who wrote about stressful life experiences improved significantly.

Scientific findings aside, putting things down on paper is a great way to get a new perspective and then move forward, said Lasater.

No previous writing experience is necessary. However, the class is similar to a support group and participants are encouraged to share their work.

Each class is a 10-week session. Although the current class began Jan. 22, there is still room for more students. The next 10-week session begins in April. Classes are limited to 20 participants. For more information, contact the Arizona Arthritis Center at (520) 626-4975.




Resources for the media