154748 Complementary & Alternative Medicine providers: Approaches to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome treatment

Monday, November 5, 2007

Lisa J. LeRoy, PhD, MBA , Abt Associates, Cambridge, MA
Dana Jones Brimmer, PhD, MPH , National Center for Infectious Disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Elizabeth Maloney, DrPH, MS , Chronic Viral Diseases Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Marjorie Morrissey, MA , Public Health and Epidemiology, Abt Associates, Cambridge, MA
Rachel Adams, BA , Public Health and Epidemiology, Abt Associates, Cambridge, MA
William C. Reeves, MD, MSc , Division of Behavioral Surveillance, Public Health Surveillance Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Background: Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients often seek care from multiple providers due to unclear diagnosis or lack of effective treatment. Types of providers include primary care physicians, specialists (rheumatologists), and complementary alternative medicine (CAM) professionals. Methods: In preparation for a Georgia Registry of Unexplained Fatiguing Illnesses and CFS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Abt Associates, Inc. conducted 10 focus groups with traditional providers and 17 individual interviews with acupuncturists, chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, nutritionists, and pain management specialists to examine CFS management approaches. (CAM providers were too geographically dispersed to conduct focus groups.) All study participants discussed a standardized scenario regarding treatment of a patient with possible CFS. Results: Most traditional healthcare providers approached treatment by first taking a patient history, ordering blood work, and ruling out other possible health concerns. Most CAM providers also approached treatment by taking a patient history, but were more likely to provide the patient with a treatment plan that included graded exercise, massage, vitamins, meditation, and some form of cognitive behavioral therapy. Many CAM providers referred the patient to other CAM providers for additional care, while fewer traditional providers referred the patient to other providers, including CAM providers. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that many CAM providers currently incorporate evidence-based treatment methods in their practice when treating people with CFS.

Learning Objectives:
Compare the use of evidence-based practices for treating patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome between Traditional Medical versus Complementary & Alternative Medicine Providers

Keywords: Chronic Illness, Alternative Medicine/Therapies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.