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Psychol Med. 2010 May;40(5):815-26. doi: 10.1017/S0033291709990948. Epub 2009 Sep 1.

Specificity of cognitive biases in patients with current depression and remitted depression and in patients with asthma.

Author information

1
University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany. anja.fritzsche@uni-hamburg.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous studies have demonstrated a specific cognitive bias for sad stimuli in currently depressed patients; little is known, however, about whether this bias persists after recovery from the depressive episode. Depression is frequently observed in patients with asthma and is associated with a worse course of the disease. Given these high rates of co-morbidity, we could expect to observe a similar bias towards sad stimuli in patients with asthma.

METHOD:

We therefore examined cognitive biases in memory and attention in 20 currently and 20 formerly depressed participants, 20 never-depressed patients diagnosed with asthma, and 20 healthy control participants. All participants completed three cognitive tasks: the self-referential encoding and incidental recall task, the emotion face dot-probe task and the emotional Stroop task.

RESULTS:

Compared with healthy participants, currently and formerly depressed participants, but not patients with asthma, exhibited specific biases for sad stimuli.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that cognitive biases are evident in depression even after recovery from an acute episode but are not found in never-depressed patients with asthma.

PMID:
19719897
PMCID:
PMC2847035
DOI:
10.1017/S0033291709990948
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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