Factors predisposing to the resort of complementary therapies in patients with fibromyalgia (FM)

This study examined the factors influencing the use of complementary

therapies in patients with fibromyalgia. A postal

questionnaire was sent to 90 patients who had attended a

rheumatology out-patient clinic in West Yorkshire for their

diagnosis or treatment of fibromyalgia.

Seventy-one percent of

fibromyalgia patients had used or were using complementary

therapies. Patients who were using complementary therapies

were of a higher socio-economic group (p < 0.001). The most

popular therapy was oral supplementation. The duration of

complementary therapies ranged from 3 months to 26 years

(median = 3). The number of therapies used by each patient

ranged from 1 to 10 (median = 3). The duration of

fibromyalgia was associated with both the duration of

complementary therapies (p < 0.001) and the number of

therapies used (p < 0.05). The most popular source of advice

for the decision to use complementary therapies was from a

magazine (40%).

Patients using complementary therapies were

less likely to be satisfied with their current hospital

treatment and turned to complementary therapies in the chance

of relief from their fibromyalgia. The relatively high cost

and lack of information on complementary therapies appeared

to dissuade those patients who chose not to use it.

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