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Cognitive bias modification paradigms training positive mental imagery and interpretation (imagery CBM-I) hold promise for treatment innovation in depression. However, depression is a global health problem and interventions need to translate across settings and cultures. The current pilot study investigated the impact of 1 week of daily imagery CBM-I in treatment-seeking individuals with major depression in outpatient psychiatry clinics in Iran. Further, it tested the importance of instructions to imagine the positive training materials. Finally, we examined the effects of this training on imagery vividness. Thirty-nine participants were randomly allocated to imagery CBM-I, a non-imagery control program, or a no treatment control group. Imagery CBM-I led to greater improvements in depressive symptoms, interpretive bias, and imagery vividness than either control condition at post-treatment (n = 13 per group), and improvements were maintained at 2-week follow-up (n = 8 per group). This pilot study provides first preliminary evidence that imagery CBM-I could provide positive clinical outcomes in an Iranian psychiatric setting, and further that the imagery component of the training may play a crucial role.

Original publication




Journal article


Cognit Ther Res

Publication Date





132 - 145


Cognitive bias modification, Computerized interventions, Depression, Interpretive bias, Mental imagery