Changes in Cognitive Content During and Following Cognitive Therapy for Recurrent Depression: Substantial and Enduring, but Not Predictive of Change in Depressive Symptoms

Robin B. Jarrett, Jeffrey R. Vittengl, Kimberly Doyle, Lee Anna Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors examined the amount and durability of change in the cognitive content of 156 adult outpatients with recurrent major depressive disorder after treatment with cognitive therapy. The pre-post magnitude of change was large for the Attributional Style Questionnaire Failure composite (d = 0.79), Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale (d = 1.05), and Self-Efficacy Scale (d = 0.83), and small for the Attributional Style Questionnaire Success composite (d = 0.30). Changes in cognitive content were clinically significant, as defined by their 64%-87% scores overlapping with score distributions from community dwellers. Improvement was durable over a 2-year follow-up. Changes in negative cognitive content could be detected early and distinguished responders from nonresponders. In responders, continuation-phase cognitive therapy was associated with further improvements on only 1 measure of cognitive content. Early changes in negative cognitive content did not predict later changes in depressive symptoms, which the authors discuss in the context of methodological challenges and the cognitive theory of depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-446
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Volume75
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2007

Keywords

  • acute phase cognitive therapy
  • cognition
  • continuation phase cognitive therapy
  • depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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