In or out of work: A preliminary investigation of mental health, trait anxiety and metacognitive beliefs as predictors of work status
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionClinical Psychologist. 2018, . 10.1111/cp.12153
Background Common mental disorders are associated with significant economic, social, and personal costs that are primarily incurred through loss of work status. Psychological interventions based on cognitive‐behavioural therapy have been implemented to enhance return to work (RTW), but have not proved sufficiently successful. According to the metacognitive model of psychological disorders, metacognitive beliefs are the key factors underlying self‐regulation and could therefore potentially be important for work status. The aim of the current study was therefore to investigate whether metacognitive beliefs could have predictive utility for work status. Method In a cross‐sectional design, 427 working age individuals reporting to be working (n = 292) or receiving disability benefits (n = 135) participated in the study. Results We found that metacognitive beliefs about the need for mental control were significant as predictors of work status over and above the presence of a diagnosed mental disorder and levels of trait anxiety. Conclusions These findings imply that metacognitive beliefs have predictive utility for work status even when controlling for mental health status, and that metacognitive beliefs might therefore be addressed in treatment to enhance RTW and with the aim of reducing long‐term sick leave.