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Measures in MCT

MEASURES: Questionnaires and Rating Scales

In order to empirically test the metacognitive model and assess key causal/maintenance variables and change in treatment a range of assessment and measurement tools have been developed. Through the website you have access to measures used in research and in treatment.

Some of these measures have established psychometric properties (MCQ-30, TCQ, MWQ). Some have not been subjected to full psychometric evaluation so far but are used as tools to assess change in metacognitive and process variables during the course of metacognitive therapy for Generalized Anxiety (GADS-R), Depression (MDD-S), Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD-S), and post-traumatic stress (PTSD-S). These latter scales are used to help therapists monitor and maintain a focus on important factors.


The 30-item Metacognitions Questionnaire measures 5 dimensions of metacognitive beliefs and metacognitive processes: (1) positive beliefs about worry; (2) negative beliefs about worry concerning uncontrollability and danger; (3) cognitive confidence; (4) beliefs about need to control thoughts; and (5) cognitive self-consciousness.


Wells, A. & Cartwright-Hatton S (2004). A short form of the metacognitions questionnaire: Properties of the MCQ-30. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 42, 385-396. 


The Thought Control Questionnaire measures individual differences in 5 strategies that people use to try and control unwanted distressing thoughts. These strategies are: (1) distraction; (2) worry; (3) punishment; (4) social control; and (5) reappraisal.


Wells, A. & Davies, M. (1994). The thought control questionnaire: A measure of individual differences in the control of unwanted thoughts. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 32, 871-878.


The Meta-Worry Questionnaire measures the frequency of negative thoughts about thoughts and the level of conviction concerning the dangerous physical and mental effects of worrying.


Wells, A. (2005). The metacognitive model of GAD: Assessment of meta-worry and relationship with DSM-IV Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 29, 107-121.


These rating scales are for specific disorders and assess a range of dimensions useful in monitoring treatment effects, provide information to aid case formulation and reduce therapist drift in sessions by highlighting the factors that need to be targeted for change.


Wells, A. (2009). Metacognitive Therapy for Anxiety and Depression. New York: Guilford Press.