Cross-sectional survey of complementary and alternative medicine used in Oregon and Southwest Washington to treat multiple sclerosis: A 17-Year update

Elizabeth Silbermann, Angela Senders, Lindsey Wooliscroft, Jessica Rice, Michelle Cameron, Carin Waslo, Anna Orban, Emma Chase, Vijayshree Yadav, Dennis Bourdette, Rebecca I. Spain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: In 2001, we conducted a survey on use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) in Oregon and Southwest Washington to treat their disease. Objectives, Methods: In 2018, we administered a revised survey in the same region to describe updated patterns of CAM use in pwMS and to compare changes in use, perceived benefit, and patterns of communication between participants and providers regarding CAM over the past 17 years. Results: 81% of respondents in 2018 (n = 1014) used a CAM supplement (vitamins, minerals, herbs), 39% used mind-body therapies (mindfulness, massage), 41% used specific diet, and 81% used exercise to treat their multiple sclerosis. Since 2001, use of supplements, exercise, and mind-body therapies have increased (65% to 81%, 67 to 81%, and 14% to 39%). Participants were also nine times more likely to speak to their neurologists about CAM use (6.7% to 55.4%). In 2018, factors associated with CAM use included female sex, progressive disease, and longer time since multiple sclerosis diagnosis. Conclusion: These findings highlight the high and increasing prevalence of CAM use in pwMS and factors associated with CAM use, and underscore the importance of research to investigate safety and efficacy of these therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102041
JournalMultiple sclerosis and related disorders
Volume41
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Complementary therapies
  • Health survey
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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