Hyland, Michael E., Lewith, George T. and Wheeler, Philippa
Do existing psychologic scales measure the non-specific benefit associated with CAM treatment?
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 14, (2), . (doi:10.1089/acm.2007.7050).
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Objective: To determine whether existing psychologic well-being scales are sensitive to change after complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatment, and whether changes in those scales of well-being correlate with symptom change. This may limit the need for the development of new CAM-specific outcomes.
Design: A study investigating change on several outcome measures over a 4-month period during CAM treatment. Patients attending the Centre for Complementary and Integrated Medicine (CCIM, Southampton, UK) for their first appointment were recruited and completed their baseline forms (T1) at the first consultation. Three (3) further sets of questionnaires (T2, T3 and T4) were mailed to them with a stamped addressed envelope at monthly intervals and were returned to CCIM.
Patients and locations: People visiting the CCIM were treated by 1 of 3 practitioners with an individualized combination of homeopathy, dietary advice, and nutritional supplements for treatment of their chronic benign illness.
Outcome: The previously validated outcome measures were as follows: (1) symptoms (Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile: MYMOP); (2) mood (Positive and Negative Affect Scale; PANAS); and (3) Brief Assessment of Sense of Coherence (BASOC).
Results: Forty-five (45) patients were recruited and 40 completed the study; MYMOP (p = 0.001), PANAS negative (p = 0.025), and BASOC (p = 0.019) all showed similar patterns of significant improvement over time; PANAS positive showed a nonsignificant trend for improvement (p = 0.074). Change on one scale was correlated with change on other scales.
Conclusions: Existing psychology scales of well-being are sensitive to change after CAM treatment and consistent with symptom improvement. Existing measures of positive affect provide an alternative to the negative, symptom-driven approach of conventional medicine.
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