Research: DIMMOCK and colleagues, C

Listed in Issue 21


DIMMOCK and colleagues, Clinical Pharmacology Unit (Rheumatism Research) Unversity of Leeds, United Kingdom examined the factors influencing the use of complementary therapies in patients suffering with fibromyalgia. METHODS: 90 patients who had attended a rheumatology out-patients clinic in West Yorkshire for their diagnosis or treatment of fibromyalgia were sent a postal questionnaire.




71% of patients with fibromyalgia had used or were using complementary therapies, the most popular therapy being oral supplementation . Those using complementary therapies were from a higher socio-economic group. The duration of treatment with complementary therapies ranged from 3 months to 26 years (median = 3) and the number of therapies used by each patient ranged from 1 to 10. There was an association between the duration of fibromyalia and the duration of complementary therapies and the number of therapies used. The most frequent source of advice (40%) for the decision to use complementary therapies was from a magazine. Patients using complementary therapies were less likely to be satisfied with their current hospital treatment and decided to try complementary therapy in order to gain relief from the symptoms of their fibromyalgia. The authors surmised that the relatively high cost and lack of information regarding complementary therapies apparently dissuaded those patients (29%) who did not use them.



Dimmock S et al. Factors predisposing to the resort of complementary therapies in patients with fibromyalgia. Clin Rheumatol. 15(5): 478-82. Sep 1996.


It is fairly obvious from the language used in the title and throughout the article that these researchers frown on people trying to get help by using alternative methods rather than the conventional ones that dont seem to help. Would they prefer that fibromyalgia sufferers just accept the fact that they have fibromyalgia, that nothing can help them and they should suffer silently for the duration? Do the authors consider bodywork therapies such as osteopathy, soft tissue and neuromuscular techniques alternative therapies, since these therapies are frequently used in the treatment of this most distressing condition?

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