In a recent study published in a special issue of the Journal: Cognitive Therapy and Research metacogniitve therapy was compared with exposure therapy and a control condition in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. MCT produced effects more rapidly then exposure and was more effective at the end of treatment. At follow-up MCT showed maintenance of gains but at that point the exposure group had caught up.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and University of Sussex report 2 studies in: Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology that begin to answer this important question. The study found that in a community sample of 587 youth aged 7-17 years metacognitive beliefs that are central in the model explained unique variation (14%) in worry scores beyond the effects of gender, age and anxiety. In study 2, children aged 7-12 with and without a diagnosis of generalized anxiety were compared.
A recently published meta-analysis by independent researchers at the Universities of Copenhagen and Amsterdam examined the effectiveness of metacognitive therapy (MCT) for anxiety and depression. In a paper published in the journal: Anxiety and Depression, data was analysed from 16 studies of which 9 were controlled trials. The authors report large effects from pre to post treatment and demonstrated that MCT was more effective than waitlist control groups and more effective than cognitive-behaviour therapy.
A Dutch group of Clinical Psychologists have published the results of a large scale trial examining the effects of MCT when compared with a form of CBT in the treatment of GAD. They report that both treatments were effective and that MCT was superior on most outcome measures. MCT produced recovery rates in worry in excess of 70% at post-treatment and at follow-up. These rates are consistent with those obtained in earlier trials of MCT and provide independent confirmation of the effectiveness of metacognitive therapy.
A randomised controlled trial just published in Journal of Clinical Psychology demonstrated that 8 sessions of MCT was highly effective in the treatment of chronic PTSD with 80% of patients meeting formal criteteria for recovery.
Reference: Wells, A. and Colbear J. (2012). Treating posttraumatic stress disorder with metacognitive therapy: A preliminary controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68, 373-381.