Metacognitions as a predictor of drinking status and level of alcohol use following CBT in problem drinkers: a prospective study

Behav Res Ther. 2009 Oct;47(10):882-6. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2009.06.010. Epub 2009 Jun 24.


This study investigated the role of negative emotions and metacognitions in predicting problem drinkers' drinking status (absence or presence of drinking) and level of weekly alcohol use at 3, 6 and 12 months after a course of treatment. A total of 70 problem drinkers with a DSM-IV diagnosis of alcohol abuse participated in the study. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory and symptoms of anxiety were measured with the state anxiety sub-scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Metacognitions were measured with the Meta-Cognitions Questionnaire. Results indicated that beliefs about need to control thoughts predicted: (1) drinking status at 3 and 6 months; and (2) level of weekly alcohol use at 3, 6 and 12 months. The contribution of metacognition was independent of negative emotions and initial level of weekly alcohol use. The results support the role of metacognition in problem drinking. Given that metacognitions are a possible risk factor for drinking status and level of weekly alcohol use it is suggested that treatment for problem drinking could target this variable.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / therapy
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Cognition*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires