Abnormalities of autobiographical memory of patients with depressive disorders: A meta-analysis
Article first published online: 12 OCT 2012
© 2012 The British Psychological Society
Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
Volume 86, Issue 4, pages 353–373, December 2013
How to Cite
Liu, X., Li, L., Xiao, J., Yang, J. and Jiang, X. (2013), Abnormalities of autobiographical memory of patients with depressive disorders: A meta-analysis. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theo, Res, Pra, 86: 353–373. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8341.2012.02077.x
- Issue published online: 12 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 12 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 19 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Received: 8 OCT 2011
- Hunan Provincial Education Sciences Planning of China. Grant Number: XJK011BXL002
- Hunan Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China. Grant Number: 09JJ5017
- Science Foundation of Hengyang Normal University. Grant Number: 10B64
Previous studies on the autobiographical memory (AM) of depressed patients had inconsistent findings. Various severities of depression in patients in these studies may lead to conflicting results. However, the differences in the procedure of the autobiographical memory tests (AMTs) may also influence the AM results.
In this study, we analyse the results published so far to research the AM characteristics of patients with depressive disorders and identify moderators that affect the assessment results while using AMT in this field.
A systematic search was conducted using following databases: MEDLINE, PubMed, ScienceDirect, Cnki, and Google Scholar, yielding 22 studies of patients with depressive disorders and autobiographical memory published between 1986 and 2010.
The results of meta-analysis showed that, compared with the control group, the patients with depressive disorders reported less specific AMs (g = −1.051) and more overgeneralized AMs (g = 1.115). The patients with depressive disorders also recalled more slowly (g = 0.400). The effect sizes of overgeneral memory could be predicted by the self-reported depression score of the depressed patients (B = −.329, p < .01). The mean effect sizes of AMT indices were affected by the AMT characteristics (i.e., number of cue word, max response time, prompting, presentation of cue word, taping, and so on).
Our results suggest that overgeneralization and response lag are the AM deficits in patients with depressive disorders. The parameters of AMT are important factors, which are related to the inconsistency in the assessment of AM in patients with depressive disorders. Some recommendations on AMT and programme research design are given for future research.
- This paper provides new insight into the current understanding of the AM deficits in patients with depressive disorders.
- This paper gives new recommendations on AMT and program research design for future clinical implications.