Feasibility and outcome of metacognitive therapy for major depressive disorder: a pilot study

Lotta Winter*, Ulrich Schweiger, Kai G. Kahl

*Corresponding author for this work


Background: Several studies have shown the effectiveness of Metacognitive Therapy (MCT) in treating different mental disorders. Most of these studies were performed in English speaking countries using the original English version of the manual. Our study aimed to examine the feasibility of the translated MCT manual in a sample of German patients with major depressive disorder. Methods: Twenty outpatients (6 male, 14 female, mean age 42.1y) with major depressive disorder were included. The main outcome was drop-out rate and satisfaction with the treatment; secondary outcomes were changes in metacognitive beliefs assessed with the metacognitive questionnaire 30 (MCQ-30), and symptom reduction measured with the Beck Depression Inventory-2 sum score (BDI-2). Results: No drop-outs during the treatment and the follow-up phase were observed. Patients and therapists were highly satisfied with MCT treatment. The MCQ-30 significantly declined over the treatment course, paralleled by a significant reduction of the BDI-2 sum scores (from 29 ± 8.6 at T0 to 8.4 ± 9.6 at the end of treatment). The average treatment duration was 10 ± 4 sessions. Conclusions: Applying the German version of the manual for Metacognitive Therapy proved to be feasible in the treatment of depressed patients in an outpatient setting. The treatment was well tolerated by German patients. Outcome in terms of reduction of depressive symptoms was good. Remarkable is the comparably short treatment duration which should be investigated further in future studies. Trial registration: German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS): DRKS00023644, 17.11.2020 (retrospectively registered).

Original languageEnglish
Article number566
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12.2020

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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