Effects of Relaxation Therapy on Anxiety Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis☆

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Abstract

AIM:

To explore the effect of relaxation therapy applied to people with anxiety disorders.

METHODS:

Systematic review with meta-analysis.

RESULTS:

Sixteen Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) were included for meta-analysis to determine the effect of relaxation therapy. The overall effect of relaxation therapy on symptom of anxiety was significant with Hedges' g = 0.62 (95% CI: 0.42–0.81), which indicates a medium-high effect; heterogeneity was statistically significant with I2 = 48.84. Subgroup analysis exploring the possible causes of heterogeneity found that types of comparison of TAU and CBT was significant (Q = 4.20, p = 0.04). The effect of relaxation therapy on symptoms of depression, phobia, and worry was significant; Hedges' g = 0.44 (95% CI: 0.30–0.59), 0.40 (95% CI: 0.06–0.75), 0.54 (95% CI: 0.28–0.79), respectively.

CONCLUSION:

The results of this study provide evidence for the effectiveness of relaxation therapy for people with anxiety disorders. Therefore, relaxation therapy can be selected as a useful intervention for reducing negative emotions in people with anxiety disorders.

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