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Variation in the recall of socially rewarding information and depressive symptom severity: a prospective cohort study

Lewis, G; Kounali, D-Z; Button, KS; Duffy, L; Wiles, NJ; Munafò, MR; Harmer, CJ; (2017) Variation in the recall of socially rewarding information and depressive symptom severity: a prospective cohort study. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica , 135 (5) pp. 489-498. 10.1111/acps.12729. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To test the association between recall for socially rewarding (positive) and/or socially critical (negative) information and depressive symptoms. METHOD: Cohort study of people who had visited UK primary care in the past year reporting depressive symptoms (N = 558, 69% female). Positive and negative recall was assessed at three time-points, 2 weeks apart, using a computerised task. Depressive symptoms were assessed at four time-points using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Analyses were conducted using multilevel models. RESULTS: Concurrently we found evidence that, for every increase in two positive words recalled, depressive symptoms reduced by 0.6 (95% CI -1.0 to -0.2) BDI points. This association was not affected by adjustment for confounders. There was no evidence of an association between negative recall and depressive symptoms (-0.1, 95% CI -0.5 to 0.3). Longitudinally, we found more evidence that positive recall was associated with reduced depressive symptoms than vice versa. CONCLUSION: People with more severe depressive symptoms recall less positive information, even if their recall of negative information is unaltered. Clinicians could put more emphasis on encouraging patients to recall positive, socially rewarding information, rather than trying to change negative interpretations of events that have already occurred.

Type: Article
Title: Variation in the recall of socially rewarding information and depressive symptom severity: a prospective cohort study
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/acps.12729
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1111/acps.12729
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Authors. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Keywords: Depression, emotional memory, epidemiology
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1547550
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