University of Leicester
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An investigation of meta-cognitive dimensions of worry in a sample of people with genital herpes

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:46 authored by Nicolas. Wilkinson
A recent cognitive model of worry has proposed that meta-worry (worry about worry) and negative meta-cognitive beliefs about worry are strongly implicated in the maintenance of emotional disorder. Elevated levels of worry have been widely reported in people experiencing chronic health problems where prognosis and outcome are uncertain and unpredictable. Genital herpes is an incurable sexually transmitted disease characterised by recurrent outbreaks of symptoms. Recent research examining the relationship between stress and symptom recurrence in genital herpes suggests that moderate levels of stress, including worry, are predictive of symptom recurrence. The aims of this study were to: explore the relationships between emotional vulnerability and meta-cognitive dimensions of worry in people with recurrent genital herpes (RGH) (n=41) and a normal healthy control group (n=41) examine differences in emotional vulnerability and meta-cognitive dimension of worry between RGH participants and controls and, explore relationships between emotional vulnerability, meta-cognitive dimensions of worry and quality of life for RGH participants. A survey design was used. The results replicated many of the findings between emotional vulnerability and meta-cognitive dimensions of worry found in previous research providing convergent evidence for the meta-cognitive model. The results also revealed significant between group differences in emotional vulnerability, meta-worry, and other meta-cognitive beliefs about worry but no significant differences in maladaptive thought control strategies. Within RGH group correlations revealed that negative beliefs about worry were significantly negatively correlated with quality of life when trait anxiety was partialled out. The implications of the results are discussed in terms of clinical implications and the limitations of the study.


Date of award


Author affiliation

Clinical Psychology

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



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