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BACKGROUND: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a highly prevalent psychiatric condition associated with significant disability, mortality and economic burden. A large proportion of MDD patients are treated in primary health care in the local community. Attentional Bias Modification (ABM) training in combination with antidepressants could be an effective treatment. Here we test the hypothesis that adding an ABM procedure to regular treatment with antidepressants in primary health care will result in further improvement of symptoms compared to treatment with antidepressants alone (treatment as usual, TAU) and as compared to an active comparison condition. METHODS: A total of 246 patients with a diagnosis of MDD will be included in this study. The study is a three-armed pragmatic randomized controlled trial comparing the efficacy of ABM as add-on to treatment with antidepressants in primary care (ABM condition) compared to standard antidepressant treatment (TAU condition). In a third group participants will complete the same schedule of intermediate assessments as the ABM condition in addition to TAU, but no ABM, thus controlling for the non-training-specific aspects of the ABM condition (Antidepressant active comparison group). DISCUSSION: The clinical outcome of this study may help develop easily accessible, low-cost treatment of depression in primary health care. Moreover, the study aims to broaden our knowledge of optimal treatment for patients with a MDD by providing adjunct treatment to facilitate recovery and long-term gain.

Original publication




Journal article


Contemp Clin Trials

Publication Date





Antidepressants, Attention Bias modification, Major depressive disorder, Pragmatic randomized controlled trial, Primary health care