The effects of an online mindfulness intervention on emotion regulation upon autobiographical memory retrieval in depression remission: a pilot randomized controlled trial

Aleksandra E. Isham*, Adriana del Palacio-Gonzalez, Barbara Dritschel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objectives

Maladaptive emotional processing of autobiographical memories is a key feature of depression that may persist during depressive remission. The primary objective of the present study was to assess the effects of an online mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) intervention on emotion regulation upon everyday autobiographical memory retrieval in individuals with remitted depression.
Methods

We conducted a pilot randomized controlled trial in which students (76.4% female; mean age 22.26) with remitted depression were allocated to an 8-week online MBSR program (n = 28) or a waitlist-control condition (n = 27). The primary outcome was self-reported employment of five emotion regulation strategies and non-reactivity upon everyday retrieval of involuntary and voluntary autobiographical memories recorded in a memory diary and was measured at baseline and approximately 11 weeks postrandomization. Intention-to-treat (ITT) and per-protocol (PP) analyses were performed.
Results

Participants in the MBSR condition showed increases in non-reactivity irrespective of memory retrieval mode (ITT: d = 1.04, p = .010; PP: d = 1.58, p = .015), and increased use of cognitive reappraisal in response to involuntary memories (ITT: d = 0.41, p = .051; PP: d =  − 0.62, p = .032) compared to the waitlist-control condition. Analyses of secondary outcomes showed additional effects for trait mindfulness and trait cognitive reappraisal, as well as depression symptoms and trait thought suppression.
Conclusion

These results provide preliminary evidence for the utility of using an online mindfulness program for improving emotion regulation upon autobiographical memory retrieval during depression remission.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMindfulness
VolumeFirst Online
Early online date17 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • Remitted depression
  • Autobiographical memory, emotion regulation
  • MBSR
  • RCT

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