Metacognition in Cardiac Patients With Anxiety and Depression: Psychometric Performance of the Metacognitions Questionnaire 30 (MCQ-30)

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The evaluation of effective psychological therapies for anxiety and depression in cardiac patients is a priority, and progress in this area depends on the suitability and validity of measures. Metacognitive Therapy is a treatment with established efficacy in mental health settings. It postulates that anxiety and depression are caused by dysfunctional metacognitions, such as those assessed with the Metacognitions Questionnaire 30 (MCQ-30), which impair effective regulation of repetitive negative thinking patterns. The aim of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the MCQ-30 in a cardiac sample. A sample of 440 cardiac patients with co-morbid anxiety and/or depression symptoms completed the MCQ-30 and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to test established factor structures of the MCQ-30: a correlated five-factor model and a bi-factor model. The five-factor model just failed to meet our minimum criteria for an acceptable fit on Comparative Fit Index (CFI) = 0.892 vs. criterion of ≥ 0.9; but was acceptable on the Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) = 0.061 vs. ≤ 0.08; whereas the bi-factor model just met those criteria (CFI = 0.913; RMSEA = 0.056). These findings suggest that the bi-factor solution may carry additional information beyond the five subscale scores alone. However, such a model needs to be evaluated further before widespread adoption could be recommended. Meantime we recommend cautious continued use of the five-factor model. Structural issues aside, all five subscales demonstrated good internal consistency (Cronbach alphas > 0.7) and similar relationships to HADS scores as in other patient populations. The MCQ-30 accounted for additional variance in anxiety and depression after controlling for age and gender.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2020


  • cardiac patients
  • metacognition
  • metacognitive therapy
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • psychometrics


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