There is a growing body of research supporting the potential therapeutic value of the Cognitive Control Training (CCT) for depression, even though more research including a control condition is necessary to investigate its working mechanisms.
The aim of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was to investigate the adjunctive effects of CCT to treatment-as-usual, compared to a sham-training, in patients with Major Depressive Disorder. Hundred-and-fifteen inpatients were randomly assigned to complete ten sessions of either an active working-memory based CCT (n = 56) or a comparable sham-training (n = 59). Changes in depressive symptoms and rumination were assessed from baseline to post-training, and at 1 year follow-up. Secondary outcome measures included alternative indices of maladaptive emotion regulation strategies, state-rumination in response to a worry induction, a cognitive transfer task and self-reports of work-status and well-being at 1 year follow-up.
Our results show no evidence for short-term beneficial effects of CCT in depressed inpatients when added to TAU.
Although other studies suggest that CCT may hold potential as an add-on intervention for depression, our findings point to the importance of investigating individual differences and conditions predicting training response.