An explorative study on metacognition in obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder

Michele Cucchi, Vittoria Bottelli, Daniele Cavadini, Liana Ricci, Vera Conca, Paolo Ronchi, Enrico Smeraldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To test the hypothesis that dysfunctional metacognitions might be a general vulnerability factor for anxiety disorder, metacognitive beliefs among patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), patients with panic disorder (PD), and healthy subjects (HS) were studied. Correlations between metacognitive beliefs, OCD, and PD symptoms were also investigated. Methods: Patients with OCD (n = 114), patients with PD (n = 119), and HS (n = 101) were assessed with the Metacognition Questionnaire (MCQ). Results: Patients with OCD and those with PD scored significantly higher than HS on the MCQ in 2 dimensions: negative beliefs about worry concerning uncontrollability and danger as well as beliefs about the need to control thoughts dimensions. No difference in MCQ scores was observed between the OCD and PD groups. The former 2 MCQ dimensions were positively correlated with the degree of indecisiveness in patients with OCD, whereas the MCQ negative beliefs about worry positively correlated with the average intensity of anticipatory anxiety in patients with PD. Conclusions: The presence of dysfunctional metacognitions in both patients with OCD and those with PD suggests that such beliefs can represent not only generic vulnerability factors for anxiety disorders but also elements that contribute to maintaining the disorder, as evidenced by their associations with aspects of OCD and PD symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-553
Number of pages8
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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