D-Cycloserine as Adjunct to Brief Computerised CBT for Spider Fear: Effects on Fear, Behaviour, and Cognitive Biases
Kappelmann N., Suesse M., Steudte-Schmiedgen S., Kaldewaij R., Browning M., Michael T., Rinck M., Reinecke A.
Abstract In anxiety disorders, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) improves information-processing biases such as implicit fear evaluations and avoidance tendencies, which predicts treatment response, so they might constitute important treatment targets. This study investigated (i) whether information-processing biases changed following single-session computerised CBT for spider fear, and (ii) whether this effect could be augmented by administration of D-cycloserine (DCS). Spider-fearful individuals were randomized to receiving 250mg of DCS (n=21) or placebo (n=17) and spider fear was assessed using self-report, behavioural, and information-processing (Extrinsic Affective Simon Task & Approach Avoidance Task) measures. Linear mixed-effects analyses indicated improvements on self-report and behavioural spider fear following CBT, but not on cognitive bias measures. There was no evidence of an augmentation effect of DCS on any outcome. Cognitive biases at 1-day were not predictive of 1-month follow-up spider fear. These findings provide no evidence for information-processing biases relating to CBT response or augmentation with DCS.