Quality of life in the anxiety disorders: a meta-analytic review

Clin Psychol Rev. 2007 Jun;27(5):572-81. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2007.01.015. Epub 2007 Feb 7.


There has been significant interest in the impact of anxiety disorders on quality of life. In this meta-analytic review, we empirically evaluate differences in quality of life between patients with anxiety disorders and nonclinical controls. Thirty-two patient samples from 23 separate studies (N=2892) were included in the analysis. The results yielded a large effect size indicating poorer quality of life among anxiety disorder patients vs. controls and this effect was observed across all anxiety disorders. Compared to control samples, no anxiety disorder diagnosis was associated with significantly poorer overall quality of life than was any other anxiety disorder diagnosis. Examination of specific domains of QOL suggests that impairments may be particularly prominent among patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. QOL domains of mental health and social functioning were associated with the highest levels of impairment among anxiety disorder patients. These findings are discussed in the context of future research on the assessment of quality of life in the anxiety disorders.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Employment / psychology
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Social Environment