Level of knowledge and perceived benefits of complementary medicine for chronic low back pain

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Level of knowledge and perceived benefits of complementary medicine for chronic low back pain
Key Take-Away: 

The complementary medicine (CM) therapies are the most acceptable treatment option for chronic low back pain (cLBP) patients. The CM treatment best known for osteopathy, followed by massage and acupuncture.

Chronic low back pain is a painful and debilitating condition that is prevalent globally.

ABSTRACT: 
Background: 

Chronic low back pain is a painful and debilitating condition that is prevalent globally. Pharmacologic treatments for chronic low back pain suffer from various adverse effects leading to adherence of patients to complementary medicines (CM).

Chronic pain patients often use complementary medicine (CM) to alleviate their pain; however, very little is known about the use of CM by cLBP patients. The presented study investigated the frequency of use of CM by cLBP patients, the perceived effects of these therapies, patients' knowledge regarding CM, and patient-physician communication regarding CM.

Methods: 

A cross-sectional survey was conducted from November 2014 to February 2015.

A questionnaire was distributed by physicians to 238 consecutive patients consulting for cLBP at the Pain Center of Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland. The Poisson regression model was used to analyze patients' level of knowledge regarding various CMs, and the logistic regression model was used to assess CM use for cLBP.

Results: 

The questionnaire was submitted by 168 cLBP patients (response rate: 70.6%). Lifetime prevalence of CM use for cLBP was 77.3%.

The most commonly used therapies were osteopathy (48.8%), massage (45.2%) and acupuncture (31.6%), rated for their usefulness on a 0–10 scale as a mean ± SD of 5.4 ± 2.7, 5.9 ± 2.5 and 3.8 ± 3.2, respectively. If their doctors proposed CM as a treatment for cLBP, 78% of participants reported being very or somewhat likely to try CM. Respondents with CM health insurance were more likely to use CM (OR = 2.26; 95%CI: 1.07–4.78; p = 0.031) for cLBP. Respondents having experienced cLBP for more than five years were more likely to use CM to treat their cLBP than respondents having experienced cLBP for one year or less (OR = 2.84; 95%CI: 1.02–7.88; p = 0.044).

Conclusion: 

More than 75% of cLBP patients in the sample did use CM to treat their cLBP. The most commonly used therapies were not necessarily the highest rated regarding perceived usefulness.

These results highlight the importance of developing integrative pain centers in which patients may obtain advice regarding CM treatments.

Source:

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Link to the source:

http://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12906-017-1708-1

The original title of the article:

Chronic low back pain patients’ use of, level of knowledge of and perceived benefits of complementary medicine: A cross-sectional study at an academic pain center

Authors:

Julie Dubois et al.

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