A novel cognitive intervention for compulsive checking: Targeting maladaptive beliefs about memory.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:Compulsive checking is one of the most common symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Recently it has been proposed that those who check compulsively may believe their memory is poor, rather than having an actual memory impairment. The current study sought to develop and assess a brief cognitive intervention focused on improving maladaptive beliefs about memory, as they pertain to both checking symptoms and memory performance. METHODS:Participants (N = 24) with a diagnosis of OCD and clinical levels of checking symptomatology were randomly assigned either to receive two weekly 1-hour therapy sessions or to self-monitor during a similar waitlist period. Time spent checking, checking symptoms, maladaptive beliefs about memory, and visuospatial memory were assessed both pre- and post-treatment/waitlist. RESULTS:Results showed that compared to the waitlist condition, individuals in the treatment condition displayed significant decreases in their maladaptive beliefs about memory and checking symptoms from pre- to post-intervention. They also exhibited increased recall performance on a measure of visuospatial memory. Changes in beliefs about memory were predictors of reduced post-intervention checking, but were not predictive of increased post-intervention memory scores. LIMITATIONS:The lack of long term follow-up data and use of a waitlist control leave questions about the stability and specificity of the intervention. CONCLUSIONS:Findings provide preliminary evidence that strategies targeting beliefs about memory may be worthy of inclusion in cognitive-behavioural approaches to treating compulsive checking.

authors

Alcolado GM,Radomsky AS

doi

10.1016/j.jbtep.2015.02.009

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2016-12-01 00:00:00

pages

75-83

eissn

0005-7916

issn

1873-7943

pii

S0005-7916(15)00027-0

journal_volume

53

pub_type

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