Ewa Mörtberg Foto: Psykologiska institutionen/HB

Ewa Mörtberg

Docent, universitetslektor

Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Psychology
Telephone 08-16 38 58
Visiting address Frescati hagväg 8
Room C 413
Postal address Psykologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2017. Ewa Mörtberg (et al.). Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 46 (4), 300-314

    Culturally validated rating scales for social anxiety disorder (SAD) are of significant importance when screening for the disorder, as well as for evaluating treatment efficacy. This study examined construct validity and additional psychometric properties of two commonly used scales, the Social Phobia Scale and the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale, in a clinical SAD population (n = 180) and in a normal population (n = 614) in Sweden. Confirmatory factor analyses of previously reported factor solutions were tested but did not reveal acceptable fit. Exploratory factor analyses (EFA) of the joint structure of the scales in the total population yielded a two-factor model (performance anxiety and social interaction anxiety), whereas EFA in the clinical sample revealed a three-factor solution, a social interaction anxiety factor and two performance anxiety factors. The SPS and SIAS showed good to excellent internal consistency, and discriminated well between patients with SAD and a normal population sample. Both scales showed good convergent validity with an established measure of SAD, whereas the discriminant validity of symptoms of social anxiety and depression could not be confirmed. The optimal cut-off score for SPS and SIAS were 18 and 22 points, respectively. It is concluded that the factor structure and the additional psychometric properties of SPS and SIAS support the use of the scales for assessment in a Swedish population.

  • 2015. J. Clason, F. Johansson, Ewa Mörtberg. Annals of Depression and Anxiety 2 (6)

    Performance anxiety, which could be regarded as a type of social anxiety disorder, is a common and debilitating condition among professional artists. In spite of this, no clinical research has previously been done on treatment methods for professional actors with PA. In the current study A-B single case experimental designs and parametric statistics were used to report the treatment process of five actors with PA who were treated with 11-12 sessions of Individual Cognitive Therapy (ICT). ICT was found to reduce PA in four of the five cases, and resulted in significantly lower frequencies of safety behaviors and negative social thoughts. It was concluded that ICT could be an effective course of treatment for actors with PA.

  • 2015. Ewa Mörtberg (et al.). Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 43 (1), 63-73

    Background: Cognitive therapy is an effective treatment for social anxiety disorder but little is known about the mechanisms by which the treatment achieves its effects. Aims: This study investigated the potential role of self-focused attention and social phobia related negative automatic thoughts as mediators of clinical improvement. Method: Twenty-nine patients with social phobia received individual cognitive therapy (ICT) in a randomized controlled trial. Weekly process and outcome measures were analysed using multilevel mediation models. Results: Change from self-focused to externally focused attention mediated improvements in social anxiety one week later. In contrast, change in frequency of, or belief in, negative social phobia related negative automatic thoughts did not predict social anxiety one week later. Conclusions: Change in self-focused attention mediate therapeutic improvement in ICT. Therapists should therefore target self-focused attention.

  • 2014. Ewa Mörtberg (et al.). Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 55 (4), 350-356

    An atypical subgroup of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) with impulsive rather than inhibited traits has recently been reported. The current study examined whether such an atypical subgroup could be identified in a clinical population of 84 adults with SAD. The temperament dimensions harm avoidance and novelty seeking of the Temperament and Character Inventory, and the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale were used in cluster analyses. The identified clusters were compared on depressive symptoms, the character dimension self-directedness, and treatment outcome. Among the six identified clusters, 24% of the sample had atypical characteristics, demonstrating mainly generalized SAD in combination with coexisting traits of inhibition and impulsivity. As additional signs of severity, this group showed low self-directedness and high levels of depressive symptoms. We also identified a typically inhibited subgroup comprising generalized SAD with high levels of harm avoidance and low levels of novelty seeking, with a similar clinical severity as the atypical subgroup. Thus, higher levels of harm avoidance and social anxiety in combination with higher or lower levels of novelty seeking and low self-directedness seem to contribute to a more severe clinical picture. Post hoc examination of the treatment outcome in these subgroups showed that only 20 to 30% achieved clinically significant change.

  • 2014. Ewa Mörtberg, Gerhard Andersson. Psychology and Psychotherapy 87 (1), 32-43

    ObjectivesIncreased knowledge of factors that predict treatment outcome is important for planning and individualizing of treatment. This study analysed predictors of response to individual cognitive therapy (ICT), and intensive (3-week) group cognitive treatment (IGCT) for social phobia. MethodParticipants (n=54) met diagnostic criteria for social phobia within a randomized controlled trial. Predictors assessed were fear of negative evaluation, anticipatory worry, self-directedness (SD) and cluster C personality disorder. Results were analysed by means of multiple regression analyses with both groups combined, and for each of the treatment groups. ResultsAnticipatory worry, an aspect of a harm-avoidance personality trait, was the strongest negative predictor of outcome in ICT and IGCT both at post-treatment and 1-year follow-up. Whereas low SD, signs of cluster C personality disorder and fear of negative evaluation were negative predictors of post-treatment outcome in ICT, the corresponding pattern of results was not to be found in IGCT. ConclusionsAnticipatory worry appears to be a particularly important trait for explaining variance in the outcome of social phobia. The finding is consistent with the assumed stability of such personality traits over time. Further studies are warranted to replicate the finding.

  • 2014. Susanne Bejerot, Jonna M. Riksson, Ewa Mörtberg. Psychiatry Research 220 (1-2), 705-707

    A link has been suggested between Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and anxiety disorders. The aim of the study was to examine the severity of social anxiety measured by the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale Self-Report and prevalence of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) in adults with ASD, with SAD and a non-ASD comparison group. Individuals with ASD showed significantly higher scores of social anxiety and social avoidance relative to the comparison group, but significantly lower scores relative to the SAD sample.

  • 2014. Susanne Bejerot (et al.). Nordic Journal of Psychiatry 68 (8), 549-559

    Background: The Brief Obsessive Compulsive Scale (BOCS), derived from the Yale–Brown Obsessive–Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) and the children's version (CY-BOCS), is a short self-report tool used to aid in the assessment of obsessive–compulsive symptoms and diagnosis of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). It is widely used throughout child, adolescent and adult psychiatry settings in Sweden but has not been validated up to date. Aim: The aim of the current study was to examine the psychometric properties of the BOCS amongst a psychiatric outpatient population. Method: The BOCS consists of a 15-item Symptom Checklist including three items (hoarding, dysmorphophobia and self-harm) related to the DSM-5 category “Obsessive–compulsive related disorders”, accompanied by a single six-item Severity Scale for obsessions and compulsions combined. It encompasses the revisions made in the Y-BOCS-II severity scale by including obsessive–compulsive free intervals, extent of avoidance and excluding the resistance item. 402 adult psychiatric outpatients with OCD, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder and other psychiatric disorders completed the BOCS. Results: Principal component factor analysis produced five subscales titled “Symmetry”, “Forbidden thoughts”, “Contamination”, “Magical thoughts” and “Dysmorphic thoughts”. The OCD group scored higher than the other diagnostic groups in all subscales (P < 0.001). Sensitivities, specificities and internal consistency for both the Symptom Checklist and the Severity Scale emerged high (Symptom Checklist: sensitivity = 85%, specificities = 62–70% Cronbach's α = 0.81; Severity Scale: sensitivity = 72%, specificities = 75–84%, Cronbach's α = 0.94). Conclusions: The BOCS has the ability to discriminate OCD from other non-OCD related psychiatric disorders. The current study provides strong support for the utility of the BOCS in the assessment of obsessive–compulsive symptoms in clinical psychiatry.

  • 2014. Ewa Mörtberg. Psychiatry Research 220 (1-2), 716-718

    The tripartite model of working alliance, including the therapeutic bond and agreement on tasks and goals, was examined in 54 patients who received individual or group cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for social anxiety disorder (SAD) in a randomized trial. Alliance was significantly stronger in individual relative to group CBT but generally not related to outcome.

Show all publications by Ewa Mörtberg at Stockholm University

Last updated: November 21, 2018

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