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A Randomised Controlled Clinical Trial of Memory Specificity Training (MEST) for Depression (MEST)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01882452
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : June 20, 2013
Last Update Posted : March 22, 2018
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
KU Leuven
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Professor Tim Dalgleish, Medical Research Council

Brief Summary:
Depression involves the tendency to recall overgeneral personal memories, a phenomenon which has been linked to numerous adverse psychological outcomes. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether a group-based Memory Specificity Training (MEST) programme improves outcomes in depression, and how this compares to an education and support control group. The primary aim is to examine whether MEST, which involves repeated practice retrieving specific autobiographical memories reduces depressive symptoms immediately post-treatment, and whether this is maintained 3 months after treatment. The secondary objective of this trial is to examine the role of hypothesised cognitive processes (ie., rumination, executive control, cognitive avoidance) which may underlie improvements in depression and memory.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Major Depressive Disorder Depressive Symptoms Behavioral: Memory Specificity Training Behavioral: Education and Support Not Applicable

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 60 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomised Controlled Clinical Trial of Memory Specificity Training (MEST) for Depression
Study Start Date : July 2013
Actual Primary Completion Date : August 2016
Actual Study Completion Date : October 2016

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Memory

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Memory Specificity Training
Five weekly one-hour sessions of memory specificity training administered in groups of 5-8 participants.
Behavioral: Memory Specificity Training
This intervention is a manualised, structured treatment delivered over 5 x 60 minute sessions to groups of 5-8 individuals. This treatment involves repeated practice of retrieving specific autobiographical memories in response to positive, negative and neutral cue words. There is a single psychoeducation component in the first session about memory difficulties common in depression which provides the rationale for this treatment. The training is supplemented by weekly homework practice.

Active Comparator: Education and Support
Five weekly one-hour sessions of an education-and-discussion supportive intervention, administered in groups of 5-8 participants.
Behavioral: Education and Support
The education-and-support comparison condition is matched with the experimental arm for length and format (ie., 5 x 60 minute weekly sessions in groups of 5-8 individuals). Groups receive a single psychoeducation component where information about depression is provided. This is followed by non-directive support where participants are encouraged to raise different kinds of events that occur each week for discussion in the group. The sessions are supplemented by a homework diary where participants will be invited to note down an event that occurs each day, which may be positive, negative, or benign and non-emotional in nature. This material will provide the basis for discussion in the weekly group meetings.




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change from baseline in depressive symptoms on the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) [ Time Frame: Change from baseline to 3 months post-treatment ]
    Symptom severity score


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in depressive status according to the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - IV (SCID-IV) [ Time Frame: Change from baseline at end of treatment (approximately 6 weeks) and 3 months post-treatment, and 6-months post-treatment (6-month follow-up for MEST group only) ]
    Presence of a current Major Depressive Episode (MDE)

  2. Change from baseline in autobiographical memory specificity on Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT) [ Time Frame: Change from baseline at end of treatment (approximately 6 weeks) and 3 months post-treatment ]
    Memory specificity level

  3. Change from baseline in depressive symptoms as measured on the BDI-II [ Time Frame: Change from baseline to post-treatment (approximately 6-weeks) ]
    Symptom severity score

  4. Depression free days following treatment according to the Longitudinal Follow-up Evaluation on the SCID-IV [ Time Frame: Post-treatment and 3-month and 6-month follow-up ]
    Number of depression-free days


Other Outcome Measures:
  1. Change from baseline on the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) [ Time Frame: Change from baseline at end of treatment (approximately 6 weeks) and 3 months post-treatment ]
    Symptom severity score

  2. Change from baseline on the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS) [ Time Frame: Change from baseline at end of treatment (approximately 6 weeks) and 3 months post-treatment ]
    Hopelessness score

  3. Change from baseline on the Cognitive Avoidance Questionnaire (CAQ) [ Time Frame: Change from baseline at end of treatment (approximately 6 weeks) and 3 months post-treatment ]
    Tendency for avoidance score

  4. Change in baseline on Rumination Response Scale (RRS) [ Time Frame: Change from baseline at end of treatment (approximately 6 weeks) and 3 months post-treatment ]
    Tendency to ruminate score

  5. Change from baseline in performance on Means-Ends Problem Solving Task (MEPS) [ Time Frame: Change from baseline at end of treatment (approximately 6 weeks) and 3 months post-treatment ]
    Problem solving effectiveness score

  6. Change from baseline in performance on Verbal Fluency Task [ Time Frame: Change from baseline at end of treatment (approximately 6 weeks) and 3 months post-treatment ]
    Index of executive control

  7. Change in baseline on performance on Digit Span Task [ Time Frame: Change from baseline at end of treatment (approximately 6 weeks) and 3 months post-treatment ]
    Working memory index



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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Principal diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder
  • History of more than one previous depressive episode
  • Current diagnosis of a Major Depressive Episode
  • Depressive symptoms rated in the mild-severe range (> 13 on the BDI-II)
  • Memory specificity < .70 (as assessed on the AMT)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Head trauma
  • Organic brain damage
  • Secondary diagnosis of another affective disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Current drug or alcohol abuse or dependence
  • A diagnosed Axis II disorder

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): NCT01882452


Locations
Australia
Aliza Werner-Seidler
Sydney, Australia, 2022
Sponsors and Collaborators
Medical Research Council
KU Leuven
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Tim Dalgleish, PhD Medical Research Council

Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Professor Tim Dalgleish, Professor, Medical Research Council
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01882452     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: MEST-UK
First Posted: June 20, 2013    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 22, 2018
Last Verified: March 2018

Keywords provided by Professor Tim Dalgleish, Medical Research Council:
Memory specificity training
Autobiographical memory
Major depressive disorder

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Depression
Depressive Disorder
Depressive Disorder, Major
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders