Metacognition in Eating Disorders
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Objective: The aims of the study were to compare patients with eating disorders to healthy controls on a self-report measure of metacognitions, and to investigate the relationship between metacognitions and eating disorder pathology in the clinical group. Method: Female patients with Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN) or Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) (N = 48) completed the Metacognitions Questionnaire – 30 and the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire 6.0. The control group consisted of university females completing the MCQ-30 (N = 244). Results: A two-tailed independent samples t-test showed the group with eating disorders scored significantly higher on dysfunctional metacognitions than the healthy controls, with especially large differences on the metacognitive subfactors “positive beliefs about worry”, “beliefs about uncontrollability of thought and danger”, and “need for control thoughts”. The level of eating disorder pathology was positively correlated with level of dysfunctional metacognitions for the clinical group as shown by a Pearson’s product moment correlations. A hierarchical regression analysis showed “need for control thoughts” as the only metacognitive subfactor significantly predicting unique variance in eating disorder symptoms. Conclusion: Metacognitive beliefs are central in understanding eating disorders, and metacognitive treatment strategies could be a promising new approach.