Article

Attention Bias Modification Treatment: A Meta-Analysis Toward the Establishment of Novel Treatment for Anxiety

Division of Adult Mental Health, National Institute of Mental Health, Tokyo, Japan.
Biological psychiatry (Impact Factor: 10.26). 09/2010; 68(11):982-90. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.07.021
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Attention Bias Modification Treatment (ABMT) is a newly emerging, promising treatment for anxiety disorders. Although recent randomized control trials (RCTs) suggest that ABMT reduces anxiety, therapeutic effects have not been summarized quantitatively.
Standard meta-analytic procedures were used to summarize the effect of ABMT on anxiety. With MEDLINE, January 1995 to February 2010, we identified RCTs comparing the effects on anxiety of ABMT and quantified effect sizes with Hedge's d.
Twelve studies met inclusion criteria, including 467 participants from 10 publications. Attention Bias Modification Treatment produced significantly greater reductions in anxiety than control training, with a medium effect (d = .51 [corrected] (p < .001). Age and gender did not moderate the effect of ABMT on anxiety, whereas several characteristics of the ABMT training did.
Attention Bias Modification Treatment shows promise as a novel treatment for anxiety. Additional RCTs are needed to fully evaluate the degree to which these findings replicate and apply to patients. Future work should consider the precise role for ABMT in the broader anxiety-disorder therapeutic armamentarium.

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    • "Threat-related attention bias is implicated in the etiology and maintenance of social anxiety disorder (SAD;Clark and Wells (1995)andRapee and Heimberg (1997)), and has been identified as a target for therapeutic intervention in the form of attention bias modification treatment (ABMT; for reviews, seeBar-Haim (2010), Hakamata et al. (2010), Heeren et al. (2015and VanBockstaele et al. (2014)). Most of the evidence for biased attention in social anxiety comes from studies employing cognitive tasks that rely on reaction time (RT) data (for reviews, seeHaim et al. (2007), Beard et al. (2012), Cisler et al. (2009and Cisler and Koster (2010)). "
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    ABSTRACT: Identification of reliable targets for therapeutic interventions is essential for developing evidence-based therapies. Threat-related attention bias has been implicated in the etiology and maintenance of social anxiety disorder. Extant response-time-based threat bias measures have demonstrated limited reliability and internal consistency. Here, we examined gaze patterns of socially anxious and nonanxious participants in relation to social threatening and neutral stimuli using an eye-tracking task, comprised of multiple threat and neutral stimuli, presented for an extended time-period. We tested the psychometric properties of this task with the hope to provide a solid stepping-stone for future treatment development.
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    • "Attention is an important mechanism of emotion regulation as it influences the extent to which emotion-provoking information undergoes deeper processing or is disregarded (Todd, Cunningham, Anderson, & Thompson, 2012). Children can direct attention away to down-regulate or toward certain emotional information to up-regulate their emotional states (Hakamata et al., 2010). However , children's emotional states can bias their attention toward emotion-congruent information (Bar-Haim, Lamy, Pergamin, Bakermans-Kranenburg, & van IJzendoorn 2007). "
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    • "Specifically, we tried to aggregate studies that employed attention training to improve performance on attention, and non-trained cognitive and academic skills to gain insight into if, when, how, and for whom attention training should be applied in educational settings. We intentionally excluded studies that trained emotional attention for anxiety reduction or other therapeutic effects (e.g., Donald, Abbott, & Smith, 2014; Hakamata et al., 2010; Mulkens, Bogels, de Jong, & Louwers, 2001), and we only included studies on typically developing individuals, individuals with ADHD, and individuals with learning difficulties as to understand the relative effectiveness across these groups. Furthermore, we investigated factors that might moderate the training effects on attention. "
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