Complementary and alternative therapy use in persons with multiple sclerosis

Rehabil Nurs. Sep-Oct 2003;28(5):141-7, 158. doi: 10.1002/j.2048-7940.2003.tb02047.x.


Use of complementary and alternative therapies (CATs) is common with both the general population and with people who have multiple sclerosis (MS). The purpose of this study was to describe the reported use and perceived effectiveness of different CATs in a large sample (N = 621) of people with MS. One-third of the participants reported that they were presently using one or more CATs, and 50% had tried one or more CATs in the past. Most CATs were perceived as being helpful. People who were presently using CATs differed little from those who were not with regard to demographic- and illness-related variables. Use of CATs was positively associated with the practice of other health-promoting behaviors. The frequent use of different CATs suggests that clinicians should systematically and nonjudgmentally inquire about CAT use among their patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Complementary Therapies / methods
  • Complementary Therapies / psychology
  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / classification
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Southwestern United States
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome