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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Quality of life and physical complaints in elderly patients with myasthenia gravis using complementary and alternative medicine

Joerg Klewer, MD PhD1, Dieter Pöhlau, MD PhD2, and Joachim Kugler, MD PhD1. (1) Public Health, Dresden Medical School, IMIB-Fetscherstr. 74, Dresden, 01307, Germany, 0049-351-3177217, Joklewer@aol.com, (2) Dept. of Neurology, Kamillus Hospital, Hospitalstraße 6, Asbach, 53567, Germany

Myasthenia gravis (M.g.) is a common neuromuscular disease with prevalences of 10 patients per 100000. Progress in medical therapy has continuously increased life expectancy in M.g. patients. Therefore the number of elderly people suffering from M.g. increases. Thus, the study analysed differences between elderly MG patients using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and those not using CAM. In collaboration with the German Myasthenia Association 2150 patients were asked to work on a mailed questionnaire on health care situation. The questions were related to demographical data, impairments, therapeutical course, use of complementary therapies, illness related costs and quality of life (SF-36). Response rate was 71%. 579 patients 65 years of age and older were identified and 172 of them used CAM. Users of CAM included a higher proportion of females, suffered significantly longer from M.g., experienced reduced quality of life and reported increased physical impairments. No differences in medical treatment were found, but elderly M.g. patients using CAM received significantly more to physiotherapeutical treatment.. Elderly MG patients using CAM show reduced quality of life. Therefore, successful managed care in elderly MG patients depends not only on evidence-based therapies but also on measures improving quality of life.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Chronic Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Alternative and Complementary Health Practices and Chronic Diseases

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA