Online Program

Use of complementary alternative methods for pain management in African American sickle cell disease patients in rural Mississippi

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Wendy Thompson, DrPH, 4141 Administration Dr, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI
Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a chronic illness that can cause both acute and chronic pain. Complementary Alternative Methods (CAM) play an important function in pain management and are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. The aim of this study was to determine the extent and effectiveness of CAM use for pain control among adult African American patients in rural Mississippi with SCD. A total of 227 participants with SCD between the ages of 18 to 65 years participated in a questionnaire survey that collected demographic information, severity of disease, and the use and effectiveness of CAM for the management of pain. Two hundred eight (92%) patients admitted to using at least one type of CAM. The three most common types of CAM used were prayer (87%), relaxation techniques (63%), and massage (56%). While all the types of CAM were found to have some effectiveness in pain management, prayer was found to be the most effective. Use of CAM was not significantly associated with number of painful episodes treated at home (p=0.056). Multiple logistic regression showed that marital status was significantly associated with relaxation techniques (p=0.044), and age and level of education were significantly associated with use of prayer (p=0.008 and p=0.004, respectively). In addition, gender, level of education and household income were significantly different between CAM users and non-CAM users. Our study shows that CAM use is common among adult patients with SCD. Further, well designed prospective studies are needed to develop best practices that emphasize an optimized balance of conventional and evidence-based CAM therapies.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
List 6 complementary alternative methods that can be used by sickle cell disease patients for pain management. Articulate the procedure for assessing whether sickle cell disease patients would benefit by using complementary alternative methods in conjunction with pharmacological methods for pain crisis. Describe most effective CAM methods used in pain management.

Keyword(s): Chronic Diseases, Alternative Medicine/Therapies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have earned a Bachelor's, Master’s Degree in Social Work and a DrPH in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology. Worked in the field of Social Work for 15 years, 10 of which was at the State Department of Health working with Sickle Cell Disease Patients. My research interest include: Sickle Cell Disease and Complementary Alternative Methods. Recently published an article from my dissertation on Complementary Alternative Methods with the Journal of Behavioral Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.