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Title: Modifying interpretation bias in adolescents with clinical levels of social phobia : an explorative case design series using Cognitive Bias Modification
Author: Curtis, Amie
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2013
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Cognitive Bias Modification for interpretation bias (CBM-I) is a procedure which has been found to successfully modify interpretation bias and anxiety symptoms. To date, very few studies have investigated the efficacy of CBM-I with adolescents. This research investigated the application of a multi-session CBM-I programme in a clinical adolescent population. Eight adolescents (14 to 17 years old) with clinical levels of social phobia symptoms completed a seven session CBM-I programme at home via the internet. The programme trained adolescents to interpret ambiguous situations in a positive manner. Imagery of oneself in the scenarios was also encouraged in an attempt to enhance the potential effects. Participants completed a battery of self-report measures to identify changes in interpretation biases and symptomology. Four participants made improvements on social phobia symptoms after the CBM-I training, which were maintained at follow-up. Six participants experienced reduced negative interpretation biases post-CBM-I, with three participants moving from a negative interpretation bias pre-CBM-I, to a positive interpretation bias post-CBM-I. Participants and their parents completed questionnaires to investigate their opinions of the CBM-I procedure. Interestingly, participants who reported enjoying the task were more likely to have a reduction in symptomology. The participants also reported that the scenarios would benefit from being tailored to their specific interests and presentations. Parents noted that the procedure was practical and easy to use, but felt that the training did not significantly impact upon their child’s presentation. Overall, the results indicate the potential value of CBM-I in modifying negative interpretative biases and symptomology in adolescents with social phobia. However, the findings were not absolute, with variability amongst participants making it difficult to draw strong conclusions. Further research is therefore needed to confirm and add weight to the current findings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available