An open trial investigating the usefulness of metacognitive therapy for patients diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa (2020)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Science
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
Anorexia nervosa is considered to be a difficult disorder to treat in adults (Fairburn, 2005). The current study aimed to explore the effectiveness of metacognitive therapy modified for anorexia nervosa as a new intervention approach for individuals struggling with this disorder. In this sequential exploratory study; twelve patients diagnosed with either typical or atypical anorexia nervosa were recruited from the South Island Eating Disorders Clinic to receive adapted metacognitive therapy for anorexia nervosa. The number of therapy sessions that patients received in this study ranged from 11-42 sessions. Data analysis was conducted at the group level and individual level. The results of the study found that patients showed some decreases in their eating disorder symptoms and some showed an increase in BMI following modified MCT. Group data showed that there was also an observed decrease in the groups maladaptive metacognitions, with individual analysis showing promising findings of clinically significant changes of reductions in patients positive beliefs about worry after receiving MCT. However, individual analysis of clinically significant changes revealed that there was little support for improvements in other types maladaptive metacognitions (negative metacognitive beliefs, cognitive confidence, cognitive self-consciousness and need to control thoughts). Results also found that although group data showed a decrease in patients use of worry as a thought control strategy following MCT, individual analysis showed no clinically significant changes in this outcome measure. Moreover, there were no changes observed at either the group or individual level in patients use of punishment as a thought control strategy after MCT. After receiving MCT intervention, patients also showed reductions in depressive symptoms, worries and rumination levels at both the group level and individual level. Overall the current study shows promising results for the use of adapted metacognitive therapy as an intervention for patients with anorexia nervosa.
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