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Special Article

Irrational Beliefs and Psychological Distress: A Meta-Analysis

Vîslă A.a, b · Flückiger C.b, c · grosse Holtforth M.b-d · David D.a, e

Author affiliations

aDepartment of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania; bDepartment of Psychology, University of Zurich, Zurich, cDepartment of Psychology, University of Bern, and dPsychosomatic Competence Center, University Hospital Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland; eDepartment of Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, N.Y., USA

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Psychother Psychosom 2016;85:8-15

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Special Article

Received: May 24, 2015
Accepted: September 18, 2015
Published online: November 27, 2015
Issue release date: January 2016

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0033-3190 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS

Abstract

Background: Since the cognitive revolution of the early 1950s, cognitions have been discussed as central components in the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses. Even though there is an extensive literature on the association between therapy-related cognitions such as irrational beliefs and psychological distress over the past 60 years, there is little meta-analytical knowledge about the nature of this association. Methods: The relationship between irrational beliefs and distress was examined based on a systematic review that included 100 independent samples, gathered in 83 primary studies, using a random-effect model. The overall effects as well as potential moderators were examined: (a) distress measure, (b) irrational belief measure, (c) irrational belief type, (d) method of assessment of distress, (e) nature of irrational beliefs, (f) time lag between irrational beliefs and distress assessment, (g) nature of stressful events, (h) sample characteristics (i.e. age, gender, income, and educational, marital, occupational and clinical status), (i) developer/validator status of the author(s), and (k) publication year and country. Results: Overall, irrational beliefs were positively associated with various types of distress, such as general distress, anxiety, depression, anger, and guilt (omnibus: r = 0.38). The following variables were significant moderators of the relationship between the intensity of irrational beliefs and the level of distress: irrational belief measure and type, stressful event, age, educational and clinical status, and developer/validator status of the author. Conclusions: Irrational beliefs and distress are moderately connected to each other; this relationship remains significant even after controlling for several potential covariates.

© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Special Article

Received: May 24, 2015
Accepted: September 18, 2015
Published online: November 27, 2015
Issue release date: January 2016

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0033-3190 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS


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