A pilot study of smartphone-based memory bias modification and its effect on memory bias and depressive symptoms in an unselected population
Number of pages
SourceCognitive Therapy and Research, 44, 1, (2020), pp. 61-72
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
Cognitive Therapy and Research
SubjectAll institutes and research themes of the Radboud University Medical Center; Experimental Psychopathology and Treatment; Radboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
Memory bias modification (MBM) is a relatively new approach at targeting biased processing - a central cognitive factor causing and maintaining depression. In this pilot study we aimed to develop a smartphone-based autobiographical memory training, a novel form of MBM. A total of 153 unselected participants were randomly allocated to one of three experimental training conditions (positive, negative or sham memory training) conducted over a period of three days. Autobiographical memory bias and depressive scores were assessed pre- and post-training, whilst recent event recall and explicit self-referent memory bias were assessed post-training. Positive memory bias significantly increased in the positive training condition, however memory bias did not significantly differ post-training between the three conditions. Participants who received positive training recalled a positive autobiographical event more frequently compared to the other conditions. No significant difference between conditions was found in the other outcomes, including symptoms. The novel smartphone-based MBM intervention seems apt to affect autobiographical memory of emotional material. Future research should explore its possible (therapeutic) application.
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