Anxiety and Autism

Additional Information

Literature Review

The purpose of our literature review was to identify existing scientific reviews and clinical guidance on the topic of anxiety and autism in order to provide evidence for our website entry on this topic.

Scope of the Literature Review

We searched a wide range of scientific databases (such as Medline, Psychinfo, CINAHL and ERIC) during January 2016.

We searched key sources of clinical guidance (such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, The Social Care Institute for Excellence and the Cochrane Library).

Our search was limited to reviews and significant clinical guidance documents written in English and published in peer-reviewed journals or on relevant websites between 1990 and 2015.

Search Terms

We used a variety of search terms, including synonyms and related terms for autism (such as Asperger syndrome); anxiety (such as phobia); and clinical guidance.


We identified 21 reviews and two guidance documents on anxiety and autism.

Strengths and Limitations

Our review was limited to an analysis of reviews and clinical guidance on anxiety in people on the autism spectrum, published between 1990 and 2015.

It was not intended to be a systematic review of all research studies on the topic of anxiety in autism, nor we did we carry out a meta-analysis of the reviews and studies we identified.

We did not include reviews of specific forms of anxiety, such as phobias.

Summary of Review

You can find a summary of our review, the Essential Guide to Anxiety and Autism in the Reading section of this entry.


If you know of other reviews we should include when we update our own review please email info@researchautism.net Thank you.

02 Nov 2017