Lunar cycle and consultations for anxiety and depression in general practice

Int J Soc Psychiatry. 1997 Spring;43(1):29-34. doi: 10.1177/002076409704300103.


The influence of the moon on patient consultations for anxiety or depression in general practice was assessed through a retrospective survey based on general practice medical records and on lunar records detailing the dates and times of different phases of the moon. Seven-hundred-eighty-two patients continuously registered in a general practice in Beckenham, South London, between 1971 and 1988 were included in analyses. No statistically significant lunar effect was found by setting the expected surge in consultations one to three days after the full moon and the period of the sine-wave curve to 30 days. Similarly, no statistically significant lunar effect was found, when the period of the sine-wave curve was allowed to vary in order to best fit the data. The moon had little influence on when individuals consulted their general practitioner with anxiety or depression.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Moon*
  • Periodicity
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors