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Depressive rumination reduces specificity of autobiographical memory recall in acquired brain injury

  • A.L. BESSELL (a1), E.R. WATKINS (a2) and W.H. WILLIAMS (a2)

Abstract

Individuals with acquired brain injuries (ABI) often experience depression following injury, with estimated rates between 20 and 40% within the first year and up to 50% thereafter (Fleminger et al., 2003). Previous studies with non–brain-injured individuals have identified that rumination is prevalent in both the development and maintenance of depression. The study aimed to explore how depressive rumination may contribute to overgeneral memory recall in ABI patients, by assessing the effects of manipulating ruminative self-focus on autobiographical memory performance across levels of brain injury. Fifty-eight ABI individuals with mild (28) to moderate/severe (30) cognitive impairments were assessed on measures of mood, rumination and autobiographical memory. They were then randomly assigned into matched groups for an intervention (a distraction) or a rumination task. Following intervention, they were re-assessed for autobiographical recall and rumination. Findings indicate that ruminative self-focus reduced specificity of autobiographical memory in individuals with ABI, suggesting that depressive rumination plays a role in the reduced access to autobiographical memories. Higher baseline levels of depression and rumination were also associated with less specificity in recall. These findings indicate the value of identifying and treating depression among this population. (JINS, 2008, 14, 63–70.)

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Alyson Louise Bessell, Centre for Appearance Research, Faculty of Life & Health Science, University of West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1QY. E-mail: alyson2.bessell@uwe.ac.uk

References

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Keywords

Depressive rumination reduces specificity of autobiographical memory recall in acquired brain injury

  • A.L. BESSELL (a1), E.R. WATKINS (a2) and W.H. WILLIAMS (a2)

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