4 years ago

Modification of cognitive biases related to posttraumatic stress: A systematic review and research agenda

Cognitive models of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) postulate that cognitive biases in attention, interpretation, and memory represent key factors involved in the onset and maintenance of PTSD. Developments in experimental research demonstrate that it may be possible to manipulate such biases by means of Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM). In the present paper, we summarize studies assessing cognitive biases in posttraumatic stress to serve as a theoretical and methodological background. However, our main aim was to provide an overview of the scientific literature on CBM in (analogue) posttraumatic stress. Results of our systematic literature review showed that most CBM studies targeted attentional and interpretation biases (attention: five studies; interpretation: three studies), and one study modified memory biases. Overall, results showed that CBM can indeed modify cognitive biases and affect (analog) trauma symptoms in a training congruent manner. Interpretation bias procedures seemed effective in analog samples, and memory bias training proved preliminary success in a clinical PTSD sample. Studies of attention bias modification provided more mixed results. This heterogeneous picture may be explained by differences in the type of population or variations in the CBM procedure. Therefore, we sketched a detailed research agenda targeting the challenges for CBM in posttraumatic stress.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0272735815301884

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