Identifying the most effective strategies for improving autobiographical memory specificity and its implications for mental health problems: a meta-analysis

Ahmadi Forooshani, Sayedhabibollah and Murray, Kate and Izadikhah, Zahra and Khawja, Nigar (2019) Identifying the most effective strategies for improving autobiographical memory specificity and its implications for mental health problems: a meta-analysis. Cognitive Therapy and Research. ISSN 0147-5916

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare the efficacy of psychological interventions, used to enhance autobiographical memory specificity, on their therapeutic targets. A systematic search identified 22 studies with 27 therapeutic effect sizes meeting the criteria for inclusion. The results showed that the aggregated effect size for all included interventions was computed as g = 1.08, p < 0.001, 95% CI [0.72, 1.44] for post-test assessments of autobiographical memory specificity, and g = 0.78, p < 0.001, 95% CI [0.44, 1.13] for the follow-up assessments. No significant moderating effects were found for number of sessions and age in post-test and follow-up assessments. However, the duration of follow-up assessments significantly
moderated the effects of the interventions on autobiographical memory specificity (b = − .17, p = 0.01). Medium to large aggregated effect sizes were computed for improving depressive symptoms (g = 0.34, p < 0.01), life satisfaction (g = 0.80, p < 0.05), and executive function (g = 1.03, p < 0.01) for post-test assessments. At follow-up, no significant effects were found for the included mental health outcomes. Based on the results, Memory Specificity Training can be suggested as the most effective short-term intervention for improving the specificity of autobiographical memory. However, the results
of this meta-analysis challenge the recommendation of using autobiographical memory-based interventions as standalone
therapies to improve mental health problems. Moreover, the lack of a sufficient number of high quality RCT studies is a
major gap in this research field. The implications for future studies are discussed.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online: 16 Nov 2019. Permanent restricted access to ArticleFirst version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 -)
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 02:28
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2019 04:42
Uncontrolled Keywords: autobiographical memory specificity, meta-analysis, mental health, psychological intervention
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170299 Cognitive Science not elsewhere classified
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/s10608-019-10061-8
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/37378

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