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Shanghai Arch Psychiatry. 2015 Jun 25;27(3):149-57. doi: 10.11919/j.issn.1002-0829.215065.

Metacognitive training for schizophrenia: a systematic review.

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Shanghai Key Laboratory of Psychotic Disorders, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.


in English, Chinese


Metacognitive training (MCT) is a novel group psychotherapy method for schizophrenia, but there is, as yet, no conclusive evidence of its efficacy.


Conduct a meta-analysis to assess the effectiveness of MCT in schizophrenia.


Electronic and hand searches were conducted to identify randomized controlled trials about the effects of MCT in schizophrenia that met pre-defined inclusion criteria. The Cochrane Risk of Bias tool was employed to assess of risk of biases, and Cochrane Review Manager version 5.3 and R version 3.1.1 were used to conduct the data synthesis.


Ten trials from 54 unduplicated reports were included in the review, but differences in the methods of assessing outcomes limited the number of studies that could be included in the meta-analysis. Pooling four studies that assessed the positive symptom subscale of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at the end of the trial identified a small but statistically significant greater reduction in the MCT group than in the control group. But pooling four studies that assessed the delusion subscale of the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scales (PSYRATS) at the end of the trial found no significant difference between the groups. Results from the qualitative assessment of the other results that could not be pooled across studies were mixed, some showed a trend in favor of MCT but many found no difference between the groups.


The limited number of RCT trials, the variability of the method and time of the outcome evaluation, and methodological problems in the trials make it impossible to come to a conclusion about the effectiveness of MCT for schizophrenia. More randomized trials that use standardized outcome measures, that use intention-to-treat (ITT) analyses, and that follow-up participants at regular intervals after the intervention are needed to determine whether or not MCT should become a recommended adjunctive treatment for schizophrenia.


meta-analysis; metacognitive training; randomized controlled trials; schizophrenia

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