Psilocybin for End-of-Life Anxiety Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

This review paper (2021) provides further evidence for the use of psilocybin-assisted therapy for the treatment of end-of-life anxiety in the absence of serious adverse effects.

Abstract

Objective: To systematically examine the effectiveness and tolerability of psilocybin for treating end-of-life anxiety symptoms.

Methods: The Medline, Embase, CENTRAL, and PsycINFO databases were searched up to November 25, 2020. We enrolled clinical trials investigating psilocybin for treating end-of-life anxiety symptoms. Meta-analysis was conducted using random-effects model.

Results: Overall, five studies were included, revealing that psilocybin was superior to the placebo in treating state anxiety at 1 day (Hedges’ g, -0.70; 95% confidence interval, -1.01 to -0.39) and 2 weeks (-1.03; -1.47 to -0.60) after treatment. Psilocybin was more effective than placebo in treating trait anxiety at 1 day (-0.71; -1.15 to -0.26), 2 weeks (-1.08; -1.80 to -0.36), and 6 months (-0.84; -1.37 to -0.30) after treatment. Psilocybin was associated with transient elevation in systolic (19.00; 13.58–24.41 mm Hg) and diastolic (8.66; 5.18–12.15 mm Hg) blood pressure compared with placebo. The differences between psilocybin and placebo groups with regard to allcause discontinuation, serious adverse events, and heart rates were nonsignificant.

Conclusion: Psilocybin-assisted therapy could ameliorate end-of-life anxiety symptoms without serious adverse events. Because of the small sample sizes of the included studies and high heterogeneity on long-term outcomes, future randomized controlled trials with large sample sizes are needed.”

Authors: Chia-Ling Yu, Fu-Chi Yang, Szu-Nian Yang, Ping-Tao Tseng, Brendon Stubbs, Ta-Chuan Yeh, Chih-Wei Hsu, Dian-Jeng Li & Chih-Sung Liang

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Psilocybin for End-of-Life Anxiety Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

https://doi.org/10.30773/pi.2021.0209

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Published in
Psychiatry Investigation
October 8, 2021
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Study details

Compounds studied
Psilocybin

Topics studied
Anxiety Depression

Study characteristics
Literature Review