Online Program

Complementary and alternative medicine for lupus: Current attitudes and practices among patients and providers in a northeastern state

Monday, November 4, 2013

Andrew Cislo, PhD, Center for Public Health and Health Policy, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT
Robert H. Aseltine, PhD, Behavioral Sciences and Community Health, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT
Previous research estimates that a significant and growing portion of patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) engage in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Other research suggests that patients and providers hold divergent attitudes about the effectiveness of CAM. However, existing studies are largely limited by sample size or sampling strategy and are often not representative of current attitudes and practices. This study surveys lupus patients and providers in one Northeastern state in 2013. Rheumatology provider contact information was obtained from two state professional associations and patient contacts were obtained from a state advocacy organization. While patient results are not yet available (as of abstract submission), preliminary provider results (n=29) suggest that they underestimate the proportion of their patients engaged in CAM (based on previous estimates) and that perceived effectiveness varies by CAM classification. The majority of providers (75%) agree that mind-body interventions (e.g., kinesiology, prayer, relaxation) are effective. A smaller proportion agree that manipulative and body-based therapies (48%) and spiritual/health literature (41%) are effective, while very few agree that alternative medical systems (7%), alternative treatment centers (7%) or energy therapies (3%) are effective. In addition, a non-trivial proportion of providers were undecided regarding effectiveness across CAM classifications. Final provider results will be compared to those of patients on identical questions. Results are discussed in the context of a larger effort to improve lupus education and awareness in one US state.

Learning Areas:

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

Learning Objectives:
Describe the attitudes and practices of lupus patients and providers regarding complementary and alternative medical treatment

Keyword(s): Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Lupus

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have had 4+ years of interdisciplinary postdoctoral training in health and health services research, have a research program consistent with the submitted presentation and developed the survey instruments which will form the data for the analyses that I will perform and present.
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.