Preventing intrusive memories after trauma via a brief intervention involving Tetris computer game play in the emergency department: a proof-of-concept randomized controlled trial.
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Iyadurai, L., Blackwell, S., Meiser-Stedman, R., Watson, P., Bonsall, M., Geddes, J., Nobre, A., & et al. (2018). Preventing intrusive memories after trauma via a brief intervention involving Tetris computer game play in the emergency department: a proof-of-concept randomized controlled trial.. Molecular psychiatry, 23 (3), 674-682. https://doi.org/10.1038/mp.2017.23
After psychological trauma, recurrent intrusive visual memories may be distressing and disruptive. Preventive interventions post trauma are lacking. Here we test a behavioural intervention after real-life trauma derived from cognitive neuroscience. We hypothesized that intrusive memories would be significantly reduced in number by an intervention involving a computer game with high visuospatial demands (Tetris), via disrupting consolidation of sensory elements of trauma memory. The Tetris-based intervention (trauma memory reminder cue plus c. 20 min game play) vs attention-placebo control (written activity log for same duration) were both delivered in an emergency department within 6 h of a motor vehicle accident. The randomized controlled trial compared the impact on the number of intrusive trauma memories in the subsequent week (primary outcome). Results vindicated the efficacy of the Tetris-based intervention compared with the control condition: there were fewer intrusive memories overall, and time-series analyses showed that intrusion incidence declined more quickly. There were convergent findings on a measure of clinical post-trauma intrusion symptoms at 1 week, but not on other symptom clusters or at 1 month. Results of this proof-of-concept study suggest that a larger trial, powered to detect differences at 1 month, is warranted. Participants found the intervention easy, helpful and minimally distressing. By translating emerging neuroscientific insights and experimental research into the real world, we offer a promising new low-intensity psychiatric intervention that could prevent debilitating intrusive memories following trauma.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 28 March 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2017.23.
Humans, Wounds and Injuries, Syndrome, Cognition, Memory, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic, Behavior Therapy, Video Games, Adult, Middle Aged, Emergency Service, Hospital, Female, Male, Psychological Trauma, Proof of Concept Study
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00005/14)
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/mp.2017.23
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/274508
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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