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27-02-2021 | Original Article | Uitgave 5/2021

Cognitive Therapy and Research 5/2021

A Cognitive Control Training as Add-On Treatment to Usual Care for Depressed Inpatients

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 5/2021
Gina R. A. Ferrari, Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt, Mike Rinck, Ineke Demeyer, Rudi De Raedt, Sylvia Beisel, Johannes Lindenmeyer, Eni S. Becker
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Gina R. A. Ferrari and Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt have contributed equally to this work.

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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.

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