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Clinical Trial Summary

This is an observational study aiming to study the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) drugs and methods among patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases, at Rheumatology clinics in western Sweden and also to investigate possible associations between CAM using habits and other characteristics of the patients.

Clinical Trial Description

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is treatment that primarily is given outside the institutions where conventional medicine is practised. CAM drugs are substances that often have a natural origin and are taken orally or used topically, for self-treatment. CAM methods are therapies where the patient often goes to a practitioner, for example acupuncture, massage, homeopathy or chiropractics.

Most cultures have their own history of traditional treatments, with herbal medicine or spiritual healers.

The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is widespread and increasing in many countries. The sales figures in Sweden for CAM drugs, functional foods and dietary supplements have increased from 450 million to 4250 million SEK between 1980 and 2007. Many people of today use CAM as a complement, rather than an alternative, to conventional healthcare. Some alternative methods, like acupuncture and massage, have also been integrated into conventional medicine.

The biological effects of drugs containing herbs or animal parts are often unknown and there is a hazard of interaction with prescribed medication.

The use of CAM drugs is often not communicated by the patient to the physician. A Swedish point observation study of patients admitted to Sahlgrenska hospital 2004 showed that 69 % of the patients had used CAM drugs at any time in their life, but only 27,5% had informed their doctor about it. The use of CAM drugs was seldom documented in the medical records of the patient.

The utilization of CAM among patients with rheumatic diseases in Sweden has never been studied before.

The aim of this trial was to study the use of CAM methods and CAM drugs among patients seen at rheumatology practises in the west of Sweden. To investigate which methods and drugs that are being used and to see if there are connections between using habits and factors like gender, age, rheumatic diagnoses, disease activity, medication and the patients experience of pain, fatigue and general health. We were also interested in finding out the reason for use of CAM, and if the patients had experienced beneficial effects or side effects of the use. ;

Study Design

Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT00665275
Study type Observational
Source Göteborg University
Status Completed
Phase N/A
Start date March 2007
Completion date July 2007

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