The Development and Validation of the Memory Support Rating Scale

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Patient memory for treatment information is poor, and worse memory for treatment information is associated with poorer clinical outcomes. Memory support techniques have been harnessed to improve patient memory for treatment. However, a measure of memory support used by treatment providers during sessions has yet to be established. The present study reports on the development and psychometric properties of the Memory Support Rating Scale (MSRS)—an observer-rated scale designed to measure memory support. Adults with major depressive disorder (MDD; N = 42) were randomized to either cognitive therapy plus memory support (CT + MS; n = 22) or cognitive therapy as-usual (CT-as-usual; n = 20). At posttreatment, patients freely recalled treatment points via the patient recall task. Sessions (n = 171) were coded for memory support using the MSRS, 65% of which were also assessed for the quality of cognitive therapy via the Cognitive Therapy Rating Scale (CTRS). A unidimensional scale composed of 8 items was developed using exploratory factor analysis, though a larger sample is needed to further assess the factor structure of MSRS scores. High interrater and test–retest reliabilities of MSRS scores were observed across 7 MSRS coders. MSRS scores were higher in the CT + MS condition compared with CT-as-usual, demonstrating group differentiation ability. MSRS scores were positively associated with patient recall task scores but not associated with CTRS scores, demonstrating convergent and discriminant validity, respectively. Results indicate that the MSRS yields reliable and valid scores for measuring treatment providers’ use of memory support while delivering cognitive therapy.

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