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Development and pilot testing of MApp: A mobile app that targets intrusive memories during dysphoria

Publikation: KonferencebidragPosterForskningpeer review

Intrusive memories are distressing memories that come to mind spontaneously. They are conceptualized as a sub-group of more general involuntary memories which are present in both clinical and non-clinical groups (Watson & Berntsen, 2014). In depression intrusive memories have at least two distinctive characteristics: a heightened emotional response upon retrieval (Del Palacio-Gonzalez et al., 2017; Watson et al., 2012), and more negative memory appraisals attributed to them (Newby & Moulds, 2010). Importantly, intrusive memories have been found to be a maintaining factor of depression (Mihailova & Jobson, 2018; Newby & Moulds, 2011), therefore they are an important target for intervention. The aim of the present study was to develop a smartphone app that can be employed as both a research tool to assess involuntary memories, and as an intervention device targeting intrusive memories during dysphoria. We developed MApp (Memory App) to assess everyday involuntary memories and identify those qualifying as intrusive memories. MApp triggers two cognitive-behavioural exercises (cognitive bias modification and a breathing exercise) when intrusive memories take place. We conducted a pilot study with individuals with moderate symptoms of depression. Depressive symptoms were assessed two weeks apart, with a period of MApp use for nine days in the middle. On average participants used the app 10 times across the nine days. The CBT exercises were activated M= 4.6 times across the nine days. Participants rated the MApp highly across various usability dimensions (i.e., easiness, intuitive design, feelings about data safety) (Ms > 4.0, with a maximum of 5). The ratings on emotional responses to involuntary memories resembled to findings obtained in paper-and-pencil diaries, thus supporting the reliability of MApp as a research tool. Initial efficacy results showed a significant decrease in depressive symptoms, with 62.5% of the participants scoring in non-clinical ranges of symptom severity after MApp use. The usability results as well as the findings of potential efficacy are encouraging. Relative to previous research on intrusive memories in depression which employ retrospective self-reports, paper-and-pencil diaries, and experimental tasks (Lang et al., 2009; Newby et al., 2014), MApp may represent a technological advantage. In addition, contrary to traditional methods MApp opens the opportunity to intervene on intrusive memories without altering individuals’ daily routines. Other intervention opportunities will be explored within the context of depression.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Udgivelsesårjul. 2019
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2019
Begivenhed9th World Congress Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies : WCBCT, Berlin - Berlin, Tyskland
Varighed: 17 jul. 201920 jul. 2019
Konferencens nummer: 9th
https://wcbct2019.org/

Konference

Konference9th World Congress Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies
Nummer9th
LandTyskland
ByBerlin
Periode17/07/201920/07/2019
Internetadresse

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