Session Title: Fibromyalgia, Soft Tissue Disorders and Pain II
Session Type: Abstract Submissions (ACR)
Background/Purpose: Many patients with rheumatologic diseases resort to unproven alternative therapies. We compared FMS and RA patients with respect to the use and effectiveness of alternative therapies.
Methods: 211 office patients with FMS (150; 130 women and 20 men; mean age 51 + 12) or RA (61; 45 women and 16 men; mean age 55 + 15) completed a questionnaire about alternative therapies for treating FMS or RA. Patients rated therapies as 1 = not helpful, 2 = mildly helpful, 3 = moderately helpful, and 4 = very helpful. The chi-square test of association was done to compare FMS and RA patients with respect to percentages, and the two-sided Mann-Whitney test was done to compare them with respect to the ratings, using a 0.05 significance level.
Results: Significantly higher percentages of FMS patients reported having used meditation (44% vs. 26%, p = 0.025), massage (76% vs. 58%, p = 0.020), diet changes (75% vs. 56%, p = 0.018), exercise (92% vs. 79%, p = 0.013), and physical therapy (59% vs. 39%, p = 0.017) compared to RA patients. FMS patients were also more likely to report having tried herbal supplements (47% vs. 31%), biofeedback (21% vs. 9%), and chiropractic treatment (43% vs. 31%) (ns). For FMS patients, the most helpful therapies were yoga, exercise, massage, physical therapy, water therapy, and a gluten-free diet (median ratings = 3), followed by meditation, diet changes, herbal supplements, vitamins/minerals, acupuncture, biofeedback/cognitive behavioral therapy, chiropractic treatment, and tai chi (median ratings = 2), with hypnosis as least helpful (median rating = 1). For RA patients, the most helpful therapies were chiropractic treatment and water therapy (median ratings = 4 and 3.5), followed by yoga, meditation, exercise, massage, biofeedback/cognitive behavioral therapy, physical therapy, and tai chi (median ratings = 3), and diet changes, herbal supplements, vitamins/minerals, acupuncture, and a gluten-free diet (median ratings = 2), with hypnosis as least helpful (median rating = 1). The efficacy ratings were significantly different for FMS and RA patients only for chiropractic treatment efficacy, with lower ratings reported by FMS patients (median 2 vs. 4, p = 0.007).
Conclusion: FMS patients were more adventuresome than RA patients when it came to trying alternative therapies. Many of these therapies had high efficacy ratings for FMS and/or RA patients.
R. S. Katz,
J. L. Polyak,
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/something-ventured-something-gained-alternative-therapies-for-fms-and-ra/