Problem solving deteriorates following mood challenge in formerly depressed patients with a history of suicidal ideation.
Williams JMG., Barnhofer T., Crane C., Beck AT.
The authors divided 34 participants who had a history of depression into 2 groups, those having previous suicidal ideation or behavior (n=19) and those having no such symptoms (n=15), then compared the 2 groups with a group of participants who had no history of depression (n=22). Assessment of interpersonal problem-solving performance using the Means-Ends Problem-Solving (MEPS) task before and after a mood-induction procedure showed that only those formerly depressed people with a history of suicidal ideation shifted in MEPS performance, producing significantly less effective problem solutions following mood challenge, consistent with a differential activation account of vulnerability for recurrence of suicidal ideation and behavior. The deterioration in effectiveness following mood challenge was moderated by lack of specificity in autobiographical memory.