Effectiveness of Group CBT with Memory Specificity Training In Moderately Depressed Adults in Two London Boroughs

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Authors : Peter John Sabatelli


Memory specificity training (MEST) alone may improve depressedmood through increased memory specificity as found in previous studies. The purpose of the research was to build and expand on the use of MEST by testing the efficacy and feasibility ofseven treatment sessions with a three month follow up of group CBT with MEST in moderately depressed adults. An initial sample of 60 adult participants had been recruited through advertisements and screening procedures within two London Boroughs. They were block randomised to ensure equal gender and allocated to a within group design with repeated measures using the Autobiographical memory Test to measure changes in memory specificity (AMS) and theBeck depression inventory II (BDI-II) to measure changes in mood. Data from 55 completers was analysed using a one way repeated ANOVA. The results showed the changes in scores from both measures where statistically significant at post treatment and three month follow up compared to the pre-treatment scores with large effect sizes. This outcome rejected thenull hypothesis and showed that MEST was an effective and feasible adjunctwith CBT in improving memory specificity and mood more than was achieved in previous studies using MEST alone. Limitations of the study included, randomisation not fully blind, no independent therapists, low frequency of supervision for checking manual adherence, no SCID, short follow up period and reduced generalisability. Future research could repeat this study use group CBT as a control, participants from out-patient departments, larger sample size, improve blinding before random allocation, using SCID, frequentsupervision and use of independent therapists.


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