Objectives. Metacognitive deficits are thought to be closely related to functional
impairment in a variety of mental health disorders. Understanding metacognitive differences
between groups may provide insight into etiology and treatment of mental illness. This study
sought to investigate group differences in metacognition and metacognitive changes over time in
response to long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy amidst a population with severe mental
illness diagnoses, specifically borderline personality disorder (BPD), narcissistic personality
disorder (NPD), and schizoid personality disorder (SPD).
Methods. Twenty-eight participants meeting inclusion criteria were selected from
amongst participants in the Austen Riggs Center’s (ARC) 11-year Follow-Along Study (FAS).
For each participant, two archived transcripts of Dynamic Interviews administered at least six
months apart were rated using the abbreviated Metacognitive Assessment Scale (MAS-a), which
provides scores for metacognitive functioning across four separate but interdependent domains of functioning. Raters had experience and training on the MAS-a and were blinded to personality
disorder group assignment of the FAS participants. Group differences and change over time were
assessed using a general linear model regression with metacognitive scores for occasion one as a
covariate and scores for occasion two as the dependent variable.
Results. Metacognitive scores improved over time in response to treatment for the
sample as a whole. Treatment effect sizes were medium to large. However, group differences
were negligible. Effect sizes for individual groups indicate possible differences in the way that
groups change over time. NPD group exhibited no change in Awareness of Others, but had a
large effect size in the category of Mastery. Large effect sizes in the category of Self-Reflectivity
were found for SPD and BPD groups. BPD demonstrated lower Mastery scores than NPD or
Conclusions. Evidence for metacognitive improvement over time for the sample as a
whole suggests treatment at ARC is effective. Differences in effect sizes in change over time
between groups may suggest that personality disorder diagnosis influences treatment outcomes, a
hypothesis that may be more readily testable with a larger sample. Generalizability of results is
limited by the relatively small size of sample subgroups and by the unique patient population and
unique treatment setting of ARC.
|School:||George Fox University|
|School Location:||United States -- Oregon|
|Source:||DAI-B 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
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