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Beliefs about Memory in Compulsive Checking and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Assessment and Intervention

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Beliefs about Memory in Compulsive Checking and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Assessment and Intervention

Alcolado, Gillian M. (2014) Beliefs about Memory in Compulsive Checking and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Assessment and Intervention. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Checking is one of the most common compulsions in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Some have suggested that individuals who check repeatedly may have memory deficits, but findings of memory-related investigations have been inconsistent. In contrast, beliefs about memory have been shown to relate closely to checking behaviour. Thus, it is possible that mixed findings regarding the presence of memory deficits in association with OCD may be related to maladaptive beliefs influencing performance. Currently no measure exists to assess these beliefs, nor does an intervention to improve them, despite the existence of such measures and interventions for other known maladaptive beliefs central to OCD. The present studies were thus designed to measure and examine the relationships between beliefs about memory, actual memory performance, and checking compulsions. The first study encompassed the development of the Beliefs About Memory Inventory (BAMI) to assess maladaptive beliefs that individuals hold about their memory. Non-clinical (N = 697) and clinical (N = 24) participants completed the candidate items for the BAMI along with other relevant questionnaires to determine its psychometric properties. Results showed that the psychometrically-sound measure is comprised of two factors: beliefs about memory ability, and beliefs about the importance of memory. Furthermore, the BAMI was able to predict checking symptoms over and above existing belief domains known to be relevant to OCD. The second study examined whether a brief cognitive intervention designed to improve beliefs about memory in a sample of compulsive checkers could decrease checking and increase memory performance. Individuals with OCD (N = 24) who exhibited clinical levels of checking symptoms monitored their checking behaviour over the course of a two-session intervention. Half were randomly assigned to the treatment condition, while the other half were randomly assigned to a waitlist control condition. Participants also completed neuropsychological tests pre- and post-treatment/waitlist. Results demonstrated that compared to those in the waitlist condition, individuals in the treatment condition decreased their maladaptive beliefs about memory, checking behaviour, and symptoms, while increasing their memory performance. The results of these studies are discussed in the context of implications for cognitive-behavioural theories of and interventions for OCD.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Alcolado, Gillian M.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Psychology
Date:August 2014
ID Code:979731
Deposited By: GILLIAN MARTA ALCOLADO
Deposited On:28 Oct 2015 12:47
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:49
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