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Use of complementary medicines for osteoarthritis - a prospective study


Zochling, JM and March, L and Lapsley, H and Cross, M and Tribe, A and Brooks, P, Use of complementary medicines for osteoarthritis - a prospective study, Annals of The Rheumatic Diseases: The Eular Journal, 63, (5) pp. 549-554. ISSN 0003-4967 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1136/ard.2003.010637


Background: Patients with osteoarthritis commonly use complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), either as an adjunct to or in place of conventional analgesics. Objectives: To undertake a prospective investigation of the prevalence of CAM use for osteoarthritis and the direct costs incurred. Methods: The subjects were 341 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip drawn from central and northern Sydney, Australia, and comprising 83 community based patients and 258 awaiting joint replacement. Information on CAM use was obtained from prospective three monthly diaries. Variables of interest included health related quality of life scores. Prospective out of pocket costs were recorded over a 12 month follow up period. Results: The prevalence of CAM use was 40%, which falls within the range of previous studies. Average annual expenditure on CAM was A$32.25 (range 0 to 603.30). CAM users were more likely to be female (odds ratio (OR) 1.8 (95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 3.0)), reported a higher level of bodily pain (OR 0.97 (0.95 to 0.99)), and were less likely to purchase conventional analgesics (OR 3.3 (1.6 to 7.0)), either prescribed or over the counter. Vitamin supplementation was the most common CAM reported, followed by celery extract, fish oils, and garlic extracts. Conclusions: There are no good quality clinical trials to support the use of most preparations purchased by patients with osteoarthritis. There is a need for patient education on the risks and benefits of complementary medicine in osteoarthritis.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Rheumatology and arthritis
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Zochling, JM (Dr Jane Zochling)
ID Code:62650
Year Published:2004
Web of Science® Times Cited:42
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2010-03-15
Last Modified:2010-05-03

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