Question: In adults with generalised anxiety and/or panic disorder, how effective is relaxation practice when compared with any other interventions in relieving the physical symptoms?


Overall, the evidence is sparse and of a poor quality; there are insufficient data to support the use of relaxation therapy, in preference to other interventions, for the relief of physical symptoms in anxiety disorders. There are some, very limited data to suggest that relaxation therapy, and other active interventions, may offer similar benefits compared with waiting list control. It should be noted that, where outcome measures include questions relating to both psychological and physical symptoms, the possibility that any effect observed may be due entirely or primarily to relief of psychological symptoms cannot be ruled out.

Large, randomised controlled trials are need to compare physical symptom relief measures between different treatment options; new trials should ideally follow-up participants for a minimum of six months.

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