Research: SHINTO and others,

Listed in Issue 138


SHINTO and others, Department of Neurology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA,, have surveyed the use of CAM in multiple sclerosis (MS).


Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is high among people with MS, yet there are no reports on the association between CAM use and health-related quality of life in MS. The aim of this study was to examine this relationship.


A cross-sectional survey and a quality of life questionnaire (SF-12) was used to collect data from 1667 survey respondents. Factors examined for their association with CAM use included, age, gender, race, self-reported disease severity, disease-modifying drug (DMT) use, MS duration, MS type, education level, physical and mental well-being.


Multiple regression analysis revealed that female gender, high education level, longer MS duration, lower physical well-being and not using DMT were independent factors associated with CAM use. The finding that a drop in physical component score of the SF-12 is independently associated with an increased odds of CAM use reflects an association of CAM use with physical health.


A longitudinal study is warranted so that it can be further investigated if MS sufferers who experience a deterioration in physical health are more likely to seek CAM treatment.


Shinto L, Yadav V, Morris C, Lapidus JA, Senders A, Bourdette D. Demographic and health-related factors associated with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis 12 (1): 94-100, Feb 2006.

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