Complementary and alternative medicine use by patients with inflammatory bowel disease: An internet survey
RJ Hilsden | JB Meddings | MJ Verhoef
To determine the degree and determinants of the use
of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by patients
with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with the use of
the Internet and to compare the results with those found
by using a similar survey in patients attending gastroenterology
clinics in Calgary, Alberta.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional survey
of 263 patients with IBD with the use of a World Wide
Web-based, structured questionnaire was conducted.
RESULTS: Complementary therapies had been used
by 46% of patients in the previous two years. Current
use was reported by 34%. Vitamins, herbal products and
natural health practices were the most commonly reported
therapies. Side effects and lack of effectiveness of
standard therapies were the most commonly cited reasons
for seeking complementary medicine. However, despite
this, respondents who had previously received surgery,
or intravenous or oral steroids were less likely to
be current CAM users. Important differences between
the determinants of and reasons for CAM use in the present
study and those of a similar study of IBD patients in
a local tertiary care setting were noted.
CONCLUSIONS: Complementary medicine use is common
in patients with IBD. Differences in the determinants
of and reasons for CAM use noted between the present
Internet sample and a gastroenterology clinic sample
suggest that conclusions from the present study and
from previous studies based only on clinic samples provide
a limited view of CAM use by people with IBD. More comprehensive
assessments are needed.