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Perspective

Challenges When Evaluating Cognitive Bias Modification Interventions for Substance Use Disorder

1
National Addiction Management Service, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore 539747, Singapore
2
Family Medicine and Primary Care, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University Singapore, Singapore 308232, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7821; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17217821
Received: 3 September 2020 / Revised: 21 October 2020 / Accepted: 23 October 2020 / Published: 26 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult Psychiatry)
In recent years, advances in experimental psychology have led to a better understanding in automatic, unconscious processes, referred to as attentional and approach biases amongst individuals with substance use disorders. Attentional biases refer to the relatively automatic tendencies for attention to be preferentially allocated towards substance-related cues. Whereas, approach bias refers to the relatively automatic behavioral tendencies of individuals to reach out to substance-related cues in their natural environment. While, several reviews confirm the existence of these biases, and the effectiveness of bias modification, the conduct of cognitive bias modification amongst substance-using individuals is not without its challenges. One of these is that cognitive biases, both attentional and approach biases, are not universally present; and several individual differences factors modulate the magnitude of the biases. Another challenge that investigators faced in their conduct of cognitive bias modification relates to the selection of the appropriate task for bias assessment and modification. Other challenges intrinsic to cognitive bias modification intervention relates to that of participant attrition, much like conventional psychotherapies. Negative findings, of the absence of biases at baseline, or the lack of effectiveness of bias modification have been reported in studies of cognitive bias modification. All these challenges could have an impact on bias assessment and modification. In this perspective paper, we will explore the literature surrounding each of these challenges and discuss potential measures that could be undertaken to mitigate these clinical and research challenges. View Full-Text
Keywords: attention bias; cognitive bias; Psychiatry attention bias; cognitive bias; Psychiatry
MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, M.W.B.; Smith, H.E. Challenges When Evaluating Cognitive Bias Modification Interventions for Substance Use Disorder. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7821. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17217821

AMA Style

Zhang MWB, Smith HE. Challenges When Evaluating Cognitive Bias Modification Interventions for Substance Use Disorder. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(21):7821. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17217821

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Melvyn W.B., and Helen E. Smith 2020. "Challenges When Evaluating Cognitive Bias Modification Interventions for Substance Use Disorder" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 21: 7821. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17217821

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