Psychometric evaluation of the Metacognitions Questionnaire – Short Form (MCQ-30) in Generalized Anxiety Disorder: reliability, validity and utility in a clinical sample

Julia A. White, Ronald M. Rapee, Lexine A. Stapinski, Maree J. Abbott*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The Metacognitions Questionnaire – Short Form (MCQ-30) was designed as a parsimonious measure of the metacognitive beliefs and processes implicated in the maintenance of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). The present study sought to examine the psychometric properties and clinical utility of the MCQ-30 among people with GAD. One hundred and thirty-nine adults diagnosed with GAD and 76 non-clinical controls completed the MCQ-30 and self-report measures of worry, fear of anxiety, attempted thought suppression, distress, GAD symptoms, and interference. A five-factor structure was evaluated using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Among the clinical sample, CFA supported the construct validity of the scale, although the relationship between the factors differed from community samples. Evidence was found for the internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and concurrent, convergent and criterion validity of the MCQ-30 in people with GAD. The treatment sensitivity and clinical responsiveness of the scale were also demonstrated, with the Uncontrollability and Danger Beliefs subscale identified as the most accurate predictor of clinical status. This subscale also exhibited the strongest correlations with most symptom measures, highlighting the cardinal role played by negative beliefs about worry in maintaining clinical levels of GAD. This study provides the first evidence of the reliability, validity and clinical utility of the MCQ-30 with people diagnosed with GAD.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 May 2024

    Keywords

    • generalized anxiety disorder
    • metacognitions questionnaire
    • metacognitive beliefs
    • metacognitive model
    • psychometric
    • worry

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