Anxiety Sensitivity and Metacognition in Iranian Patients with Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders and Healthy Individuals

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine AND Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

MSc Student, Department of Clinical Psychology, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

Postdoc Student in Psychosomatic Disorders AND Assistant Professor, Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Psychosomatic disorders are a group of psychiatric disorders in which psychological factors play an important role in the development, maintenance, and exacerbation of medical conditions. The most important category of psychosomatic disorders is functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID). The present study aimed to compare anxiety sensitivity (AS) and metacognitions between patients with FGID and healthy individuals in Isfahan, Iran.

Methods: This case-control study was conducted on 50 patients (13 men and 37 women) with FGID who were diagnosed by a gastroenterologist and had the study inclusion criteria and 50 matched healthy individuals (15 men and 35 women). The subjects were randomly selected. The data collection tools consisted of the Anxiety Sensitivity Index‎-Revised (ASI-R) and Metacognitive Beliefs Questionnaire (MCQ-30). The data were analyzed in SPSS software.

Results: The results showed that there were significant differences in all subscales of ASI-R and MCQ-30, except the fear of publicly observable symptoms subscale in the ASI-R and negative beliefs about the uncontrollability of thoughts and corresponding danger (UD) subscale in MCQ-30 between patients with FGID and healthy individuals.

Conclusion: The results showed that AS and metacognitive beliefs about worry play a crucial role in psychosomatic disorders such as FGID. Anxiety has appeared as the common component between FGID. Hence, the management of anxiety in FGID by clinicians in the treatment of these disorders is recommended.


  • Psychosomatic disorder
  • Anxiety sensitivity (AS)
  • Metacognitive beliefs
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders

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