Do metacognitions contribute to health anxiety when controlling for OCD comorbidity?
metacognitive beliefs, health anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder
Previous research has found that dysfunctional metacognitive beliefs about health are associated with health anxiety (HA), even when controlling for depression, anxiety, and anxiety sensitivity. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) overlaps with HA, but OCD symptoms have not been controlled for in prior studies that examined metacognitive beliefs about health. The current study examined if metacognitive beliefs about health remain associated with HA when OCD and anxiety sensitivity were accounted for. An undergraduate sample (N = 400) completed online self-report questionnaires of OCD symptoms, anxiety sensitivity, metacognitive beliefs about health, and HA. OCD symptoms, anxiety sensitivity, and metacognitive beliefs about health all showed moderate to strong bivariate correlations with HA. A hierarchical multiple regression was conducted where OCD symptoms were entered in the first step, anxiety sensitivity was entered in the second step, and metacognitive beliefs were entered in the last step. Metacognitive beliefs about the uncontrollability of illness-related thoughts, along with OCD symptoms and anxiety sensitivity about physical concerns, were found to be uniquely predictive of HA. These findings support previous research establishing a link between metacognitive beliefs and HA, and expand upon them by suggesting the relationship is not accounted for by OCD symptoms.
Presented on June 25, 2023 at the Canadian Psychological Association annual convention held at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
All Rights Reserved