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Title: Intrusive memories in depression and posttraumatic stress disorder
Author: Payne, Alexandra
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 7672
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2017
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Intrusive memories have been identified in the adult literature as not unique to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but a transdiagnostic process common to many psychological disorders, including depression. However, there remains a lack of consensus regarding the prevalence of intrusive memories in adult depression and research exploring this experience in adolescence is extremely limited. The current thesis portfolio aimed to estimate the prevalence of intrusive memories in adult depression through meta-analysis and to explore this experience in young people with PTSD and depression through empirical research. The meta-analysis revealed a pooled prevalence estimate of 76.0% (95% CI 59.4 – 89.4%), with indication that depressed adults are at comparable risk of intrusive memories as adults with PTSD and at increased risk compared to healthy controls (risk ratio of 2.94, 95% CI 1.53 – 5.67). A total of 49 young people participated in the empirical research, comprised of 13 with PTSD (with or without comorbid depression), 11 with depression and 25 non-clinical controls. Intrusive memories were reported by 92.3% of the PTSD group (95% CI 77.8 - 100%), 54.5% of the depressed group (95% CI 25.1 – 83.9%) and 28.0% of the control group (95% CI 10.4 – 45.6%), assessed through structured interview via telephone or video call. Intrusive memories experienced by clinical participants were characterised by accompanying negative emotional experience and appraisals of psychological abnormality and negative self-evaluation, whilst strong sensory quality was identified as a distinctive feature of intrusive memories in PTSD. Intrusive memories are therefore revealed as a common experience in adult and adolescent depression and highlighted as a potential target for cognitive intervention in both depression and PTSD. Routine screening for intrusive memories may provide valuable clinical information. Larger-scale study is recommended to affirm findings and further research is required to evaluate therapeutic interventions. Findings are discussed with reference to cognitive models of PTSD.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Clin.Psy.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available