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Bias-contingent attention bias modification and attention control training in treatment of PTSD: a randomized control trial

  • Amit Lazarov (a1), Benjamin Suarez-Jimenez (a2), Rany Abend (a3), Reut Naim (a4), Erel Shvil (a5), Liat Helpman (a2), Xi Zhu (a2), Santiago Papini (a6), Ariel Duroski (a5), Rony Rom (a5), Franklin R. Schneier (a2), Daniel S. Pine (a3), Yair Bar-Haim (a7) and Yuval Neria (a2)...

Abstract

Background

Randomized control trials (RCTs) comparing attention control training (ACT) and attention bias modification (ABM) in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have shown mixed results. The current RCT extends the extant literature by comparing the efficacy of ACT and a novel bias-contingent-ABM (BC-ABM), in which direction of training is contingent upon the direction of pre-treatment attention bias (AB), in a sample of civilian patients with PTSD.

Methods

Fifty treatment-seeking civilian patients with PTSD were randomly assigned to either ACT or BC-ABM. Clinician and self-report measures of PTSD and depression, as well as AB and attention bias variability (ABV), were acquired pre- and post-treatment.

Results

ACT yielded greater reductions in PTSD and depressive symptoms on both clinician-rated and self-reported measures compared with BC-ABM. The BC-ABM condition successfully shifted ABs in the intended training direction. In the ACT group, there was no significant change in ABV or AB from pre- to post-treatment.

Conclusions

The current RCT extends previous results in being the first to apply ABM that is contingent upon AB at pre-treatment. This personalized BC-ABM approach is associated with significant reductions in symptoms. However, ACT produces even greater reductions, thereby emerging as a promising treatment for PTSD.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Amit Lazarov, E-mail: amitl76@yahoo.com

Footnotes

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This work reflects equal contribution of the first two authors.

Footnotes

References

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