Attentional bias training in depression: therapeutic effects depend on depression severity.

Ghent University, Department of Psychology, Henri Dunantlaan 2, B-9000 Gent, Belgium.
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.23). 02/2010; 41(3):265-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2010.02.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Depressed individuals show maintained attention to negative information and reduced attention for positive information. Selective biases in information processing are considered to have an important role in the origin, maintenance and recurrence of depressive episodes. In two experiments we investigated the effects of attentional bias manipulation on mood and depressive symptoms. In experiment 1 we investigated the effects of attentional bias manipulation compared to a control procedure in a sample of dysphoric students (N = 48) showing mild to severe levels of depressive symptoms. In experiment 2 we investigated the same attentional training procedure in a sample of depressed in- and outpatients (N = 35). Mild improvements on symptom severity were observed in students showing mild depressive symptoms. However, in students showing moderate to severe depressive symptoms, depressive symptoms increased after the training. No beneficial effects of training on top of therapy and/or medication were found in depressed patients. These results indicate that therapeutic effects of attentional bias modification might be dependent on depression severity.

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    ABSTRACT: study aims to compare emotion face and emotion image dot-probe tasks in predicting depression. The study uses descriptive correlational methods. The subjects studied during the research included the people between the ages of 19 -40 years, who visited a particular psychology clinic in Tehran, Iran from 2011 to 2012. The patients studied received a clinical diagnosis, based on an unstructured interview, as per the 4th Edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), and a screening test using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI, cut off point 21 and higher). Then 82 individuals were selected, using the convenience sampling method. Two computerized dot-probe tasks (emotional faces and images) were administered to the participants. Pearson's correlation coefficients and univariate re-gression analysis showed that, in both tasks, attention bias was significantly linked with depression and could predict it (P < 0.01). Fisher's Z-test further showed that the emotion face dot-probe task could pre-dict depression more precisely than the emotion image dot-probe task (P < 0.01).
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