Research: PIORO-BOISSET and colleag

Listed in Issue 19


PIORO-BOISSET and colleagues investigated patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), and determined the prevalence, extent, cost and satisfaction with the use of alternative medicine therapies compared to control rheumatology patients.



220 consecutive rheumatology and 80 FMS patients completed an interviewer-based questionnaire.


Alternative medicine interventions were used extensively by rheumatology patients and by FMS patients in particular. Compared to controls, all categories of alternative therapies were used more by FMS patients - overall use 91% versus 63% for controls; spiritual practices 48% versus 37%; and alternative practitioners 26% versus 12%. Two-thirds of patients using alternative therapies were concurrently using multiple intereventions and patient satisfaction was highest for spiritual approaches.


Almost all FMS patients were using alternative medicine therapies, which may indicate that conventional medical therapies are inadequate in providing symptomatic relief to sufferers of FMS.


Pioro-Boisset M et al. Alternative medicine use in fibromyalgia syndrome. Arthritis Care Res 9(1): 13-7. Feb 1996.


Again there are similar sentiments as expressed following Begbie et al (see Alternative Medicine). Because most FMS patients use alternative therapies, the authors feel this is a reflection upon the inadequacy of conventional medical care. The authors do not choose to conclude that FMS patients use alternative approaches because they may provide therapeutic benefit, nor to point out the potentially positive aspects of these alternative therapies.

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