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Clinical Trial Summary

Cognitive biases have been found to be possible causal and vulnerability factors for depression. There is empirical evidence on the presence of negative emotional biases in interpretation in people with depressive symptoms. A whole new area of research, called Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM), is focused on targeting negative cognitive emotional biases to investigate its impact on clinical symptoms. A recent meta-analysis has shown that this type of programs are effective in reducing cognitive biases but there is still controversy on their clinical value to reduce symptoms. The purpose of the study is to create a brief online intervention aimed to reduce negative emotional cognitive biases present in depression and to analyze its impact on clinical symptoms and well-being.

Clinical Trial Description

More specifically, the intervention is framed within the area of CBM but it is rooted on techniques and change procedures used in cognitive-behavioral therapies. While original CBM studies train participants to change cognitive biases in an automatic manner, by forcing individuals to find positive outcomes to ambiguous scenarios, this new intervention focuses on teaching participants the meaning of emotional cognitive biases and how to modify them by using an effortful type of processing (i.e., looking for adaptive alternative interpretations to ambiguous stories). The study has been design to overcome some of the limitations that have been pointed out in this emerging research area. Firstly, although there are recent efforts to understand how interpretation, attention and memory cognitive biases may be related, it is still not clear how they interact with each other. For this purpose, some authors have pointed out the need to use longitudinal data to see how one process may affect each other over time. Secondly, different systematic reviews and meta-analyses have investigated the moderating role of variables that may be affecting the heterogeneity of results found in CBM interventions. Mental imagery has been found to be a useful tool to help participants in their changing process, while there is no preferred number of sessions for these interventions. This study will help shed some light into this factors by using mental imagery during four sessions online. ;

Study Design

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT03987477
Study type Interventional
Source Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Status Completed
Phase N/A
Start date September 30, 2019
Completion date March 1, 2021

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