The effects of retrieval versus rehearsal of online problem-solving therapy sessions on recall, problem-solving skills and distress in distressed individuals: An experimental study

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Improving memory for the content of therapy sessions might increase the effects of psychological interventions. Previous studies showed that healthy individuals who took a memory test (retrieval) of studied material showed better long-term memory retention than individuals who restudied (rehearsal) the material. The aim of the current study was to find out whether we can translate these findings to a subclinical setting.

METHODS: Individuals with moderate levels of distress were randomized into retrieving (n = 46) or rehearsing (n = 49) four weekly sessions of online Problem-Solving Therapy (PST). Session recall, problem-solving skills and distress were measured at baseline, three days after each session and at one-week follow-up.

RESULTS: Retrieval led to overall higher recall, but this difference disappeared when controlling for the time spent on retrieval versus rehearsal. Retrieval did not lead to better problem-solving skills or less distress, compared to rehearsal. Baseline working memory performance moderated the effect of condition on recall after controlling for the time spent on retrieval versus rehearsal: the effect of retrieval compared to rehearsal on recall was larger for individuals with lower working memory performance.

LIMITATIONS: The sample mostly consisted of university students with overall high working memory scores.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provided the first evidence that retrieval of the content of PST sessions may lead to better session recall compared to rehearsal of the PST sessions in individuals with a low working memory score. Implications for the use of cognitive support strategies within a therapeutic setting are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101485
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Volume66
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 May 2019

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Short-Term Memory
Therapeutics
Long-Term Memory
Rehearsal
Therapy
Experimental Study
Problem Solving
Students
Psychology
Working Memory

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Cite this

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title = "The effects of retrieval versus rehearsal of online problem-solving therapy sessions on recall, problem-solving skills and distress in distressed individuals: An experimental study",
abstract = "BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Improving memory for the content of therapy sessions might increase the effects of psychological interventions. Previous studies showed that healthy individuals who took a memory test (retrieval) of studied material showed better long-term memory retention than individuals who restudied (rehearsal) the material. The aim of the current study was to find out whether we can translate these findings to a subclinical setting.METHODS: Individuals with moderate levels of distress were randomized into retrieving (n = 46) or rehearsing (n = 49) four weekly sessions of online Problem-Solving Therapy (PST). Session recall, problem-solving skills and distress were measured at baseline, three days after each session and at one-week follow-up.RESULTS: Retrieval led to overall higher recall, but this difference disappeared when controlling for the time spent on retrieval versus rehearsal. Retrieval did not lead to better problem-solving skills or less distress, compared to rehearsal. Baseline working memory performance moderated the effect of condition on recall after controlling for the time spent on retrieval versus rehearsal: the effect of retrieval compared to rehearsal on recall was larger for individuals with lower working memory performance.LIMITATIONS: The sample mostly consisted of university students with overall high working memory scores.CONCLUSIONS: This study provided the first evidence that retrieval of the content of PST sessions may lead to better session recall compared to rehearsal of the PST sessions in individuals with a low working memory score. Implications for the use of cognitive support strategies within a therapeutic setting are discussed.",
author = "Bruijniks, {Sanne J E} and Marit Sijbrandij and Huibers, {Marcus J H}",
note = "Copyright {\circledC} 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.",
year = "2019",
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language = "English",
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T1 - The effects of retrieval versus rehearsal of online problem-solving therapy sessions on recall, problem-solving skills and distress in distressed individuals

T2 - An experimental study

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AU - Sijbrandij, Marit

AU - Huibers, Marcus J H

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N2 - BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Improving memory for the content of therapy sessions might increase the effects of psychological interventions. Previous studies showed that healthy individuals who took a memory test (retrieval) of studied material showed better long-term memory retention than individuals who restudied (rehearsal) the material. The aim of the current study was to find out whether we can translate these findings to a subclinical setting.METHODS: Individuals with moderate levels of distress were randomized into retrieving (n = 46) or rehearsing (n = 49) four weekly sessions of online Problem-Solving Therapy (PST). Session recall, problem-solving skills and distress were measured at baseline, three days after each session and at one-week follow-up.RESULTS: Retrieval led to overall higher recall, but this difference disappeared when controlling for the time spent on retrieval versus rehearsal. Retrieval did not lead to better problem-solving skills or less distress, compared to rehearsal. Baseline working memory performance moderated the effect of condition on recall after controlling for the time spent on retrieval versus rehearsal: the effect of retrieval compared to rehearsal on recall was larger for individuals with lower working memory performance.LIMITATIONS: The sample mostly consisted of university students with overall high working memory scores.CONCLUSIONS: This study provided the first evidence that retrieval of the content of PST sessions may lead to better session recall compared to rehearsal of the PST sessions in individuals with a low working memory score. Implications for the use of cognitive support strategies within a therapeutic setting are discussed.

AB - BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Improving memory for the content of therapy sessions might increase the effects of psychological interventions. Previous studies showed that healthy individuals who took a memory test (retrieval) of studied material showed better long-term memory retention than individuals who restudied (rehearsal) the material. The aim of the current study was to find out whether we can translate these findings to a subclinical setting.METHODS: Individuals with moderate levels of distress were randomized into retrieving (n = 46) or rehearsing (n = 49) four weekly sessions of online Problem-Solving Therapy (PST). Session recall, problem-solving skills and distress were measured at baseline, three days after each session and at one-week follow-up.RESULTS: Retrieval led to overall higher recall, but this difference disappeared when controlling for the time spent on retrieval versus rehearsal. Retrieval did not lead to better problem-solving skills or less distress, compared to rehearsal. Baseline working memory performance moderated the effect of condition on recall after controlling for the time spent on retrieval versus rehearsal: the effect of retrieval compared to rehearsal on recall was larger for individuals with lower working memory performance.LIMITATIONS: The sample mostly consisted of university students with overall high working memory scores.CONCLUSIONS: This study provided the first evidence that retrieval of the content of PST sessions may lead to better session recall compared to rehearsal of the PST sessions in individuals with a low working memory score. Implications for the use of cognitive support strategies within a therapeutic setting are discussed.

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