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Trial registered on ANZCTR

Registration number
Ethics application status
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated
Date data sharing statement initially provided
Date results information initially provided
Type of registration
Retrospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
Cognitive-reminiscence intervention for the alleviation of
depressive symptomatology in young adults
Scientific title
A randomised-controlled trial of cognitive-reminiscence therapy and treatment-as-usual for the alleviation of depressive symptomatology in young adults
Secondary ID [1] 281819 0
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
depression 288168 0
Condition category
Condition code
Mental Health 288531 288531 0 0

Study type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
Participants will take part in six, 60-minute sessions of cognitive-reminiscence therapy. These sessions will be administered one-to-one and face-to-face by a psychologist, and held once weekly over a period of six weeks. This intervention is aimed at building skills in better understanding the self, others, and the world, and to improve problem-solving when faced with challenges. In this approach individuals learn cognitive reappraisal and problem-solving techniques to rationally and adaptively recall and reframe memories of themselves, others, and the world. Past experiences are discussed with a focus on remembering positive memories, and reframing and reinterpreting negative experiences. Continuity between one’s past and present is highlighted with a focus on rediscovering or rebuilding a sense of meaning in life. Active problem-solving strategies are also discussed in the context of individuals’ own personal experiences, and used to enhance self-efficacy, self-esteem, and coping. Individuals are taught to see their current difficulties in the context of past difficulties and apply this understanding to more adaptively cope with life stressors.
Intervention code [1] 286370 0
Treatment: Other
Comparator / control treatment
The comparative group will involve treatment-as-usual, whereby participants will receive intervention services as per the usual protocol at the youth mental health service to which they presented.
Control group

Primary outcome [1] 288690 0
Depressive symptomatology, as measured by scores on the depression subscale of the short-form of the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale
Timepoint [1] 288690 0
Baseline, and at three and six-weeks following the beginning of intervention, and one and three-month follow-ups.
Secondary outcome [1] 300767 0
Self-esteem as measured by the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale
Timepoint [1] 300767 0
Baseline, and at three and six-weeks following the beginning of intervention, and one and three-month follow-ups.
Secondary outcome [2] 300768 0
Self-efficacy, as measured by the New General Self-Efficacy Scale
Timepoint [2] 300768 0
Baseline, and at three and six-weeks following the beginning of intervention, and one and three-month follow-ups.
Secondary outcome [3] 300769 0
Meaning in Life, as measured by the Meaning in Life Questionnaire
Timepoint [3] 300769 0
Baseline, and at three and six-weeks following the beginning of intervention, and one and three-month follow-ups.

Key inclusion criteria
elevated levels of depressive symptomatology
Minimum age
18 Years
Maximum age
No limit
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
currently receiving psychological treatment or psychopharmacological treatment for depression, physical health problems as cause of depression, psychotic symptoms, high suicide risk or high risk of harm to others, eating disorders, primary presenting issue around body image, diagnosable anxiety disorders, clinical manic symptoms, substance abuse or dependence as primary presenting issue, primary presenting issue of sexual disorder.

Study design
Purpose of the study
Allocation to intervention
Randomised controlled trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
Potential participants will be identified by the intake team at the participating youth mental health service during
intake assessments, on the basis of the inclusion and exclusion critieria. Once identified on this
basis, their suitability for inclusion in the project will be assessed more comprehensively by the clinical team
at the service. Once participants have been identified as suitable for recruitment, the individual will be offered participation from a case worker at the service and permission will be sought for a member of the research team to contact them. Once participants have agreed to participate and informed consent has been obtained, they will be randomised to either the intervention or treatment-as-usual condition.
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
Once participants consent to participate they will be randomised by a third-party (not a member of the research team or youth mental health service) using a biased-coin approach with computer software. This bias-coin method will be used to preserve balance in groups due the small anticipated sample size.
Masking / blinding
Open (masking not used)
Who is / are masked / blinded?

Intervention assignment
Other design features
Not Applicable
Type of endpoint(s)
Statistical methods / analysis

Recruitment status
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment in Australia
Recruitment state(s)

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 286604 0
Name [1] 286604 0
Deakin University
Address [1] 286604 0
221 Burwood Highway, Burwood. Victoria 3125
Country [1] 286604 0
Primary sponsor type
Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway, Burwood. Victoria 3125
Secondary sponsor category [1] 285391 0
Name [1] 285391 0
Address [1] 285391 0
Country [1] 285391 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Ethics committee name [1] 288678 0
Deakin University Human Research Ethics Committee
Ethics committee address [1] 288678 0
221 Burwood Highway, Burwood. Victoria 3125
Ethics committee country [1] 288678 0
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 288678 0
Approval date [1] 288678 0
Ethics approval number [1] 288678 0

Brief summary
Although cognitive-reminiscence approaches to the treatment of depressive symptoms have been shown to
be highly effective in older adults, to date no studies have determined its efficacy with younger adults. The current study aims to trial a manualised and validated cognitive-reminiscence intervention for depressive symptomatology with young adults. This intervention utilises both cognitive and problem-solving therapy frameworks within a reminiscence-based approach. Individuals systematically review various events, circumstances, and turning-points in their lives while learning adaptive techniques for appraising and interpreting themselves, others, and the world, and applying these techniques to present-day issues. Individuals over the age of 18 who present at a community youth mental health services in Melbourne with elevated depressive symptoms will be recruited and randomised to either six sessions of individual cognitive-reminiscence intervention or treatment as usual. Outcomes in both groups will be assessed by measuring depressive symptomatology, self-esteem, self-efficacy, and meaning in life at baseline, three
weeks, six weeks, and one and three month post-treatment. The intervention is predicted to lead to significant reductions in depressive symptomatology.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 37234 0
Prof David Mellor
Address 37234 0
Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood VIC 3125
Country 37234 0
Phone 37234 0
+61 3 9244 3742
Fax 37234 0
Email 37234 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 37235 0
Mr David Hallford
Address 37235 0
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood VIC 3125
Country 37235 0
Phone 37235 0
+61 3 9244 3042
Fax 37235 0
Email 37235 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 37236 0
Mr David Hallford
Address 37236 0
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood VIC 3125
Country 37236 0
Phone 37236 0
+61 3 9244 3042
Fax 37236 0
Email 37236 0

Data sharing statement
Will individual participant data (IPD) for this trial be available (including data dictionaries)?
No/undecided IPD sharing reason/comment
What supporting documents are/will be available?
Summary results
Have study results been published in a peer-reviewed journal?
Journal publication details
Publication date and citation/details [1] 313 0
Hallford, D. J., & Mellor, D. (2016). Autobiographical memory-based intervention for depressive symptoms in young adults: A randomized controlled trial of cognitive-reminiscence therapy. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics, 85(4), 246-249
Other publications
Have study results been made publicly available in another format?
Results – basic reporting
Results – plain English summary
Cognitive-reminiscence therapy was found to have large effects on depressive symptoms at post-intervention and follow-up. Effects were also found at post-intervention in the CRT group for self-esteem, self-efficacy, meaning in life, and anxiety symptoms. The intervention was well-received by the young adults, who found it appropriate and reported that it produced positive outcomes. Change was attributed to therapeutic work using guided reminiscence that involved generating new perspectives, increasing awareness of a broader life story, learning from the past to feel more confident and able to cope, and having a stronger sense of self-worth and self-acceptance.