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Clin Psychol Rev. 2017 Mar;52:92-107. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2016.12.003. Epub 2016 Dec 21.

Autobiographical episodic memory-based training for the treatment of mood, anxiety and stress-related disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

1
Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK. Electronic address: Caitlin.hitchcock@mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk.
2
The Black Dog Institute, Sydney, Australia.
3
Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK; Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany.
4
Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK; Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, UK.

Abstract

We review evidence for training programmes that manipulate autobiographical processing in order to treat mood, anxiety, and stress-related disorders, using the GRADE criteria to judge evidence quality. We also position the current status of this research within the UK Medical Research Council's (2000, 2008) framework for the development of novel interventions. A literature search according to PRISMA guidelines identified 15 studies that compared an autobiographical episodic memory-based training (AET) programme to a control condition, in samples with a clinician-derived diagnosis. Identified AET programmes included Memory Specificity Training (Raes, Williams, & Hermans, 2009), concreteness training (Watkins, Baeyens, & Read, 2009), Competitive Memory Training (Korrelboom, van der Weele, Gjaltema, & Hoogstraten, 2009), imagery-based training of future autobiographical episodes (Blackwell & Holmes, 2010), and life review/reminiscence therapy (Arean et al., 1993). Cohen's d was calculated for between-group differences in symptom change from pre- to post-intervention and to follow-up. We also completed meta-analyses for programmes evaluated across multiple studies, and for the overall effect of AET as a treatment approach. Results demonstrated promising evidence for AET in the treatment of depression (d=0.32), however effect sizes varied substantially (from -0.18 to 1.91) across the different training protocols. Currently, research on AET for the treatment of anxiety and stress-related disorders is not yet at a stage to draw firm conclusions regarding efficacy as there were only a very small number of studies which met inclusion criteria. AET offers a potential avenue through which low-intensity treatment for affective disturbance might be offered.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Autobiographical memory; Depression; Episodic memory; Memory training; Posttraumatic stress

PMID:
28086133
DOI:
10.1016/j.cpr.2016.12.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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