Anxiety Review Summary

The objective of this article is to review the medical literature regarding the influence of personal religious belief and religious-based activities on anxiety. Studies were reviewed evaluating anxiety and the effect of religion in peer reviewed medical literature from 1966 to May 2015 by using search terms in PubMed and Cochrane data bases. There were 32 studies included. This review showed, in almost every study, that religion in general, religious training, spirituality, faith, prayer, religious community and worship were associated with reduced anxiety (stress). These effects were observed in both healthy individuals and in various patient populations. In addition, a number of studies demonstrated that religious based treatment intervention was helpful in the treatment of anxiety. This review suggests that religious practice and belief may assist individuals suffering with anxiety.