Abstract: Perceived efficacy among patients of various methods of complementary alternative medicine for rheumatologic diseases

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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2005 Sep-Oct;23(5):693-6.

Breuer GS, Orbach H, Elkayam O, Berkun Y, Paran D, Mates M, Nesher G.

Rheumatology Service, Department of Internal Medicine, Shaare-Zedek Medical Center and the Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this cross-sectional survey was to obtain and analyze data on self-perceived efficacy of different types of complementary alternative medicine (CAM) by patients with various rheumatologic conditions.

METHODS: Patients followed in rheumatology outpatient clinics were screened for the use of CAM. Patients reporting the use of CAM were asked to participate in face-to-face structured interviews, specifying the various CAM types they used, and grading their subjective impression of efficacy of each CAM type on a scale of 1-10.

RESULTS: 350 consecutive patients were screened and 148 reported using CAM. In general, homeopathy and acupuncture were the most commonly used CAM types (44% and 41% of the CAM users, respectively). The mean number of different CAM methods used by a CAM user was 1.9 +/- 1.1. Patients with fibromyalgia used significantly more CAM methods (2.7 +/- 1.4, p = 0.005). On patients’ self-perceived efficacy scale of 1-10, the mean score of the whole group was 5.3 +/- 3.2. Acupuncture and homeopathy achieved significantly higher self-perceived efficacy scores in CAM users with spondylo-arthropathies and osteoarthritis, respectively, when compared to some of the other disease groups. Satisfaction was lowest among CAM users with rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis and connective tissue diseases.

CONCLUSION: In general, CAM users were less than moderately satisfied with self-perceived-efficacy of CAM therapies. However efficacy of specific CAM methods differed significantly among patients in different disease groups.

PMID: 16173249 [PubMed – in process]

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