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Can a computerised training paradigm assist people with intellectual disabilities to learn cognitive mediation skills? A randomised experiment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Published copy (DOI)


  • Leen Vereenooghe
  • Shirley Reynolds
  • Lina Gega
  • Peter E Langdon


Publication details

JournalBehaviour research and therapy
DateAccepted/In press - 14 May 2015
DatePublished (current) - Aug 2015
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)10-19
Original languageEnglish


AIMS: The aim was to examine whether specific skills required for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) could be taught using a computerised training paradigm with people who have intellectual disabilities (IDs). Training aimed to improve: a) ability to link pairs of situations and mediating beliefs to emotions, and b) ability to link pairs of situations and emotions to mediating beliefs.

METHOD: Using a single-blind mixed experimental design, sixty-five participants with IDs were randomised to receive either computerised training or an attention-control condition. Cognitive mediation skills were assessed before and after training.

RESULTS: Participants who received training were significantly better at selecting appropriate emotions within situation-beliefs pairs, controlling for baseline scores and IQ. Despite significant improvements in the ability of those who received training to correctly select intermediating beliefs for situation-feelings pairings, no between-group differences were observed at post-test.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicated that computerised training led to a significant improvement in some aspects of cognitive mediation for people with IDs, but whether this has a positive effect upon outcome from therapy is yet to be established.

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