Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Myth debunked: Full moon does not increase incidence of psychological problems

Date:
November 19, 2012
Source:
Université Laval
Summary:
Contrary to popular belief, there is no connection between lunar phases and the incidence of psychological problems. This is the conclusion reached by a team of researchers after having examined the relationship between the moon's phases and the number of patients who show up at hospital emergency rooms experiencing psychological problems.

Full moon. Contrary to popular belief, there is no connection between lunar phases and the incidence of psychological problems.
Credit: © Zacarias da Mata / Fotolia

Contrary to popular belief, there is no connection between lunar phases and the incidence of psychological problems. This is the conclusion reached by a team of researchers directed by Professor Geneviève Belleville of Université Laval's School of Psychology after having examined the relationship between the moon's phases and the number of patients who show up at hospital emergency rooms experiencing psychological problems.

Details on the study can be found on the website of the scientific journal General Hospital Psychiatry.

To determine whether the widespread belief linking the moon to mental health problems was true, researchers evaluated patients who visited emergency rooms at Montreal's Sacré-Coeur Hospital and Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis between March 2005 and April 2008. They focused specifically on 771 individuals who showed up at the emergency room with chest pains for which no medical cause could be determined. Psychological evaluations revealed that a sizeable number of these patients suffered from panic attacks, anxiety and mood disorders, or suicidal thoughts.

Using lunar calendars, the researchers determined the moon phase in which each of these visits occurred. The results of their analyses revealed no link between the incidence of psychological problems and the four lunar phases. There was one exception, however; anxiety disorders were 32% less frequent during the last lunar quarter. "This may be coincidental or due to factors we did not take into account," suggested Geneviève Belleville. "But one thing is certain: we observed no full-moon or new-moon effect on psychological problems."

This study's conclusions run contrary to what many believe, including 80% of nurses and 64% of doctors who are convinced that the lunar cycle affects patients' mental health. "We hope our results will encourage health professionals to put that idea to rest," said Dr. Belleville. "Otherwise, this misperception could, on the one hand, color their judgment during the full moon phase; or, on the other hand, make them less attentive to psychological problems that surface during the remainder of the month."

In addition to Geneviève Belleville, the study was coauthored by Guillaume Foldes-Busque, Mélanie Dixon, Évelyne Marquis-Pelletier, and Sarah Barbeau from Université Laval's School of Psychology; Julien Poitras and Richard Fleet from Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine; Jean-Marc Chauny and Jean Diodati from Université de Montréal; and André Marchand from UQAM.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Université Laval. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Geneviève Belleville, Guillaume Foldes-Busque, Mélanie Dixon, Évelyne Marquis-Pelletier, Sarah Barbeau, Julien Poitras, Jean-Marc Chauny, Jean G. Diodati, Richard Fleet, André Marchand. Impact of seasonal and lunar cycles on psychological symptoms in the ED: an empirical investigation of widely spread beliefs. General Hospital Psychiatry, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2012.10.002

Cite This Page:

Université Laval. "Myth debunked: Full moon does not increase incidence of psychological problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121119114255.htm>.
Université Laval. (2012, November 19). Myth debunked: Full moon does not increase incidence of psychological problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121119114255.htm
Université Laval. "Myth debunked: Full moon does not increase incidence of psychological problems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121119114255.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins