PrevenD: Cognitive control training to prevent recurrent depression


In the PrevenD IWT project we will aim to improve and implement a promising cognitive control training tool that, based on individual computerized assessment, trains specific cognitive impairments underlying depressive symptomatology and its recurrence. Ultimately, PrevenD will provide an online tool to increase efficacy of current treatments for depression as well as to consolidate stable remission and prevent new depressive episodes from occurring in remitted depressed patients.

By combining scientific insights from clinical psychology, cognitive science, serious games and e-Health, the PrevenD project can play a major role in increasing efficacy of existing treatments and preventing recurrent depression in a highly cost-efficient manner. Furthermore, the project brings cognitive training to the next level, providing the patient with an intervention based on one’s individual profile of cognitive vulnerability factors.

Depression not only has detrimental individual consequences but also high societal costs (treatment-related and indirect) and is known to have a large rate of recurrence. Therefore, the successful implementation of this training tool can help to increase personal well-being as well as provide economic benefits by way of increased employability and reduced consumption of antidepressants in the substantial group of Flemings that have suffered from depression.

The goal of the PrevenD project is to develop a tool that offers a gamified cognitive control training to prevent recurrent depression by targeting remitted depressed patients. Morerover, the tool will also provide information to clinicians to minimize steps and research needed for implementation of the tool in clinical practice for currently depressed patients receiving treatment. Based on an iterative, user-centered design process informed by a number of single-case and validation studies, an existing promising training will be transformed into an individually-tailored, gamified, online cognitive control training.

PrevenD is a corroboration between iMinds-MICT-Ghent University, the Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience Lab , and UZ Ghent.

Duration of the project

The project runs from 01/12/2015 - 30/11/2018.

Staff Involved

  • Prof. dr. Jan Van Looy
  • Jasmien Vervaeke

Financed by