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Intrusive Reexperiencing: The Role of Working Memory Capacity and Thought Suppression

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT01007682
First Posted: November 4, 2009
Last Update Posted: March 8, 2012
The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland
  Purpose

This study aims at identifying risk factors for the development of intrusive reexperiencing symptoms. In particular, the investigators examine the influence of working memory capacity and thought suppression on the occurrence of unpleasant memories of a negative experience.

Hypothesis: People with high working memory capacities (HWMC) are able to successfully suppress memories of an unpleasant experience (presentation of a distressing movie). In contrast, in people with low working memory capacities (LWMC), attempts to suppress memories of an unpleasant experience inadvertently lead to an increase of these memories.

Study phase one: Assessment of working memory capacity in 200 healthy participants by means of a computerized task. Selection of 50 participants with HWMC and of 50 participants with LWMC who participate in study phase two.

Study phase two: Presentation of a distressing movie and subsequent assessment of memories of the movie during several days in the daily life of participants. Comparison of 4 groups regarding the frequency of instructions in daily life:(group 1: HWMC participants who are instructed to suppress thoughts of the movie, group 2: LWMC participants who are instructed to suppress thoughts of the movie, group 3: HWMC participants who are instructed to allow the occurence of thoughts of the movie, group 4: LWMC participants who are instructed to allow the occurence of thoughts of the movie)


Condition Intervention
Memory Other: Show distressing movie and tell half of the two study groups to suppress memories of the movie

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Single (Participant)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Intrusive Reexperiencing: The Role of Working Memory Capacity and Thought Suppression

Resource links provided by NLM:


Further study details as provided by University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Number of intrusive memories [ Time Frame: during one week after viewing the distressing movie ]

Enrollment: 200
Study Start Date: September 2009
Study Completion Date: October 2011
Primary Completion Date: July 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
No Intervention: Screening for working memory capacity
Experimental: Distressing movie
A distressing movie is presented to two groups (one group with high and one group with low working memory capacity). For each of the two groups, half of the participants are instructed to suppress thoughts of the movies after viewing it, while the remaining participants are instructed to allow the occurrence of memories of the movie.
Other: Show distressing movie and tell half of the two study groups to suppress memories of the movie
A distressing movie is presented to two groups (one group with high and one group with low working memory capacity). For each of the two groups, half of the participants are instructed to suppress thoughts of the movies after viewing it, while the remaining participants are instructed to allow the occurrence of memories of the movie.

  Eligibility

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Older than 17 years

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Insufficient knowledge of the German language, for the distressing movie arm of the study: Elevated levels of depression or posttraumatic stress symptoms prior to viewing of the distressing movie
  Contacts and Locations
Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT01007682


Locations
United States, Massachusetts
Harvard University, Department of Psychology
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, 02138-2044
Sponsors and Collaborators
University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Monique C Pfaltz, PhD Harvard University, Department of Pysychology
Study Chair: Jürgen Margraf, Prof University of Basel, Department for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
  More Information

Responsible Party: University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01007682     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 192/09
First Submitted: October 28, 2009
First Posted: November 4, 2009
Last Update Posted: March 8, 2012
Last Verified: March 2012

Keywords provided by University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland:
intrusive memories