Metacognitive therapy versus cognitive–behavioural therapy in adults with generalised anxiety disorder
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBJPsych Open. 2018, 4 (5), 393-400. 10.1192/bjo.2018.54
Background Cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) is the treatment of choice for generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), yielding significant improvements in approximately 50% of patients. There is significant room for improvement in the outcomes of treatment, especially in recovery. Aims We aimed to compare metacognitive therapy (MCT) with the gold standard treatment, CBT, in patients with GAD (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00426426). Method A total of 246 patients with long-term GAD were assessed and 81 were randomised into three conditions: CBT (n = 28), MCT (n = 32) and a wait-list control (n = 21). Assessments were made at pre-treatment, post-treatment and at 2 year follow-up. Results Both CBT and MCT were effective treatments, but MCT was more effective (mean difference 9.762, 95% CI 2.679–16.845, P = 0.004) and led to significantly higher recovery rates (65% v. 38%). These differences were maintained at 2 year follow-up. Conclusions MCT seems to produce recovery rates that exceed those of CBT. These results demonstrate that the effects of treatment cannot be attributed to non-specific therapy factors.