Metacognitions in auditory hallucinations
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Introduction: Auditory hallucinations are a commonly experienced phenomenon. Theories have been devised in order to help explain how and why this phenomenon occurs, some attributing its occurrence to stressful life events, other explaining it as originating from misattributed thoughts. This study tested the relation between patients who experience auditory hallucinations and their pattern of metacognitions and thought strategies. Method: 12 participants suffering from auditory hallucinations from different parts of Norway were assessed by following instruments: categories of worry (AnTI), metacognitions (MCQ-30), strategies for thought control (TCQ), beliefs about auditory hallucinations (BAVQ-R) and metacognitions with regard to auditory hallucinations (MCQ-VH). Results: Results revealed that participants scored high on positive and negative meta-beliefs in regard to auditory hallucinations. There was further an association between measure of meta-worry as indicated by AnTI and interpretation of voices as indicated by BAVQ-R Earlier research on coping with voices had proposed that distraction was used by voice hearers who cope poorly. Correlational analyses found no relation between beliefs about malevolence and omnipotence of voices and distraction, although participants used distraction as a thought control strategy in order to cope with their voices. Conclusion: This study indicates that metacognitions might be an important factor in perpetuating auditory hallucinations and the discomfort this experience entails. The theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.