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Yoga for anxiety: a systematic review of the research evidence
  1. G Kirkwood1,
  2. H Rampes2,
  3. V Tuffrey3,
  4. J Richardson4,
  5. K Pilkington5
  1. 1Research Council for Complementary Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2Barnet, Enfield & Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust, Northwest Community Mental Health Team, Edgware, Middlesex, UK
  3. 3School of Integrated Health, University of Westminster, London, UK
  4. 4Faculty of Health and Social Work, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK
  5. 5Research Council for Complementary Medicine, London, UK. School of Integrated Health, University of Westminster, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 K Pilkington
 Research Council for Complementary Medicine (RCCM)/University of Westminster, c/o School of Integrated Health, University of Westminster, 115 New Cavendish Street, London W1W 6UW, UK;


Between March and June 2004, a systematic review was carried out of the research evidence on the effectiveness of yoga for the treatment of anxiety and anxiety disorders. Eight studies were reviewed. They reported positive results, although there were many methodological inadequacies. Owing to the diversity of conditions treated and poor quality of most of the studies, it is not possible to say that yoga is effective in treating anxiety or anxiety disorders in general. However, there are encouraging results, particularly with obsessive compulsive disorder. Further well conducted research is necessary which may be most productive if focused on specific anxiety disorders.

  • yoga
  • anxiety
  • anxiety disorders
  • systematic review

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  • The NHS Priorities Project is funded by the Department of Health. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Health.

  • Competing interests: none declared