Memory specificity training (MEST) alone can
improve mood associated with depression as found in previous studies. The aim
was to build upon and expand on previous MEST and self-distancing (SD) studies
by testing the effectiveness and feasibility of seven treatment sessions with a
three month follow up of group CBT with MEST and SD in moderately depressed
adults in two London Boroughs. Method was to recruit 60 participants from
advertisements and a screening process that included administration of
questionnaires, the autobiographical memory test (AMT) and Beck depression
inventory (BDI-II) and interviewed to confirm they met the inclusion and
exclusion criteria, and met symptoms for depression as listed in the DSM-5.
Consent was obtained and then block randomising done to ensure a balanced group.
There were 55 participants who completed the treatment at all time points and
their data and scores on the AMT and BDI-II was used when running a one way
repeated ANOVA as this was a within group design with repeated measures, using
SPSS 22. The results showed improvements occurred at post-treatment and three
month follow up for AMS and BDI-II scores that was statistically significant
with large effect sizes at post-treatment and three month follow up. Discussion,
the null hypothesis was rejected and the alternative hypothesis was accepted. MEST
with self-distancing is an effective and feasible adjunct with CBT in improving
memory specificity and mood. Limitations included; the study was not fully
blind, no independent therapist, low frequency of supervision for checking
manual adherence, no SCID, short follow up period and reduced generalisability.
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participants recruited from out-patient departments, larger sample size,
improve blinding before random allocation, using SCID, frequent supervision and
use of an independent therapist.
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