Research: ANGHORST and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 119


ANGHORST and colleagues, Department of Internal Medicine, Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Germany,, have surveyed the use of complementary and alternative therapies by patients with IBS in Germany.


The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that IBS sufferers rank highly among users of CAM therapies.


A 73-item questionnaire was mailed to a randomly selected representative sample of 1000 IBS patients from the approximately 16,000 members and associates of the German Crohn's and Colitis Association. Predictors of CAM use were evaluated by logistic regression models.


The response rate was 68%. Of these, 51.3% reported using CAM therapies. Homeopathy (52.9%) and Herbal Medicine (43.6%) were the most common treatments used. The most frequent personal reasons for CAM use were the search for an 'optimum treatment' (78.9%) and the wish to stop taking steroids (63.8%). Total cortisone intake turned out to be a strong predictor of CAM use (p = 0.0077), in contrast to duration of the disease. Other predictors were experience with psychosomatic and psychotherapeutic support (p = 0.0029), relaxation techniques (p = 0.0284), an academic education (p = 0.0173), a diet rich in whole grains (p = 0.0123), and a normal body weight (p = 0.0215).


CAM use is widespread in patients suffering from IBS in Germany. Prolonged or intensive steroid treatment, an academic education, active ways of coping, and a health-conscious life-style are associated with CAM use.


Langhorst J, Anthonisen IB, Steder-Neukamm U, Ludtke R, Spahn G, Michalsen A, Dobos GJ. Amount of systemic steroid medication is a strong predictor for the use of complementary and alternative medicine in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: results from a German national survey. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 11 (3): 287-295, Mar 2005.

ICAN 2024 Skyscraper

Scientific and Medical Network 2

Cycle Around the World for Charity 2023

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro Charity 2023

top of the page