Cognitive Bias Modification-Memory in Major Depression

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
In depression, negative information becomes preferentially processed and retrieved, which contributes to the development, maintenance and relapse of depression. The repetitive retrieval of unpleasant memories is called rumination and it is characterizing of depression. Especially women are vulnerable to rumination and cognitive biases in information processing. The experimental modification of cognitive biases (CBM) has been found to successfully improve depressive symptomology, in particular for women. In the current study, we tested a CBM memory intervention designed as computerized emotionally-biased retrieval training to affect the severity of depressive symptoms in a sample of inpatients. Thirty-four patients of the LVR clinic Essen absolved four consecutive training sessions of studying and retrieving affective word pairs. Retrieval bias was induced by selectively testing words with either positive or neutral valence depending on the assigned condition. Positive retrieval practice aimed to counteract ruminative tendencies and therefore reduce depressive symptomology. The severity of depressive symptoms were assessed by Beck’s Depression Inventory and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression before, after and one week after the training. Self- and clinician-rated depression measurements were analyzed separately in a three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The results showed a training-congruent effect on BDI-II ratings, assessed one week after the training. Clinician ratings did not show any significant change in depression symptoms dependent on training condition. There were also no differences in the course of depression between men and women. Further research should consider an amendment of the assessment to reduce floor effects.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen