All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for September 2003

The use of complementary and alternative therapies by people with multiple sclerosis

Chronic Dis Can. 2003;24(2/3):75-79
Page Room 93 HMRB Office Of Medical Bioethics University Of Calgary 3330 Hospital Drive NW Calgary Alberta Canada T2N 4N1; Fax: (403) 283-8524
Marja J Verhoef SA, Verhoef MJ, Stebbins RA, Metz LM, Levy JC.
Room 93, HMRB, Office of Medical Bioethics, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 4N1; Fax: (403) 283-8524

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) refers to therapeutic approaches not considered part of conventional medicine.

A survey was mailed to sample of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The response rate was 440/673 (65%).

Mean sample age was 48 years; 75% were female.

Respondents ranged from mildly to severely impaired.

Seventy percent used CAM primarily to improve health and manage the symptoms of MS.

Most consumers reported positive effects.

Lack of knowledge was the most common reason given for not using CAM.

Patient education, physician-patient dialogue, and continued research and regulation of CAM are important to the well being of CAM consumers.