The ability to retrieve specific, single-incident autobiographical memories has been consistently posited as a predictor of recurrent depression. Elucidating the role of autobiographical memory specificity in patient-response to depressive treatments may improve treatment efficacy and facilitate use of science-driven interventions. We used recent methodological advances in individual patient data meta-analysis to determine a) whether memory specificity is improved following mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), relative to control interventions, and b) whether pre-treatment memory specificity moderates treatment response. All bar one study evaluated MBCT for relapse prevention for depression. Our initial analysis therefore focussed on MBCT datasets only(n = 708), then were repeated including the additional dataset(n = 880). Memory specificity did not significantly differ from baseline to post-treatment for either MBCT and Control interventions. There was no evidence that baseline memory specificity predicted treatment response in terms of symptom-levels, or risk of relapse. Findings raise important questions regarding the role of memory specificity in depressive treatments.
Behav Res Ther
Autobiographical memory, Cogntive therapy, Individual patient data meta-analysis, Mindfulness, Treatment response, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Depressive Disorder, Major, Humans, Memory, Episodic, Mindfulness, Treatment Outcome