Research: MOSER and colleagues, Dep

Listed in Issue 20


MOSER and colleagues, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Vienna, Austria. GABRIELE.MOSER@WIEN.AC.AT. studied the use of unconventional therapies in inflammatory bowel diseases.



The sample population consisted of 105 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), 72 with Crohn's disease and 33 with ulcerative colitis, attending a university out-patient clinic. Patients using unconventional therapies were compared with those who did not in respect to: disease-related data, sociodemographic variables, patients' disease-related concerns and their perceived level of information regarding IBD. Concerns were measured with Rating Form of IBD Patient Concerns (RFIPC), activity of inflammatory disease was assessed by physicians using the Crohn's disease activity index (CDAI) and the clinical activity index (CAI).


Of the 97 patients (92.4%) who replied to all the questions, 33 (34%) used unconventional therapies in addition to conventional therapy. There was no difference between the groups with respect to level of knowledge regarding IBD and sociodemographic data. There was a significant difference in that the longer the disease duration, the more often patients used unconventional therapies. The most important differences between users and nonusers were: patients using unconventional therapies were more concerned about surgery, being treated as different and feeling out of control.


There exists a relationship between the use of unconventional therapies and certain disease-related concerns, which should be addressed in clinical practice and which may help patients avoid using unproven and expensive alternative therapies.


Moser G et al. Relationship between the use of unconventional therapies and disease-related concerns: a study of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. J Psychosom Res 40(5): 503-9. May 1996.


It is indeed touching that these physicians are so concerned to save IBD patients money for alternative therapies. It is not surprising that the longer patients had IBD, the more they tried other therapies and that they were more concerned about the effects of surgery and their disease taking control of their lives.

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