Browse by author
Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rob DudleyORCiD,
Professor John O'Brien,
Professor Peter Britton
Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.
Objectives: In later life, cognitive impairment is common in depression often making it difficult to distinguish a dementing illness from depression. We examined whether people with depression could be differentiated from those with dementia on their performance on a task that examines attentional bias to depression related material. Methods: Twelve older adults who fulfilled DSM-IV criteria for major depression were compared with 12 people with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and 12 age matched controls on a test of cognitive biases: the Emotional Stroop task. In this task participants were presented with words written in different coloured inks, and they had to name the colour the word was written in. Four types of material were presented - neutral, positive, and negative emotion words as well as a condition of meaningless symbols. Results: People with depression and those with AD were both slower than the controls on the task generally. However, the depressed group alone showed a statistically significant and specific increase in response time when colour naming the negative emotion words. The other two groups did not demonstrate such a pattern and colour named neutral, positive and negative words equally quickly. Conclusions: The biased processing of depression related material may have a valuable role in distinguishing depression from dementia in later life. Although the Emotional Stroop in its present form is not sufficient for such a purpose. Furthermore, the demonstration that older adults with depression exhibit such biases helps provide a theoretical basis for the application of cognitive behavioural treatments with older adults. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Author(s): Dudley R, O'Brien J, Barnett N, McGuckin L, Britton P
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Print publication date: 01/01/2002
ISSN (print): 0885-6230
ISSN (electronic): 1099-1166
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
PubMed id: 11802230
Altmetrics provided by Altmetric