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Complementary and alternative healthcare use by participants in the PACE trial of treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome

Complementary and alternative healthcare use by participants in the PACE trial of treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome
Complementary and alternative healthcare use by participants in the PACE trial of treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome
Background: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is characterised by persistent fatigue, disability and a range of other symptoms. The PACE trial was randomised to compare four non-pharmacological treatments for patients with CFS in secondary care clinics. The aims of this sub study were to describe the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the trial sample and to test whether CAM use correlated with an improved outcome.

Method: CAM use was recorded at baseline and 52 weeks. Logistic and multiple regression models explored relationships between CAM use and both patient characteristics and trial outcomes.

Results: at baseline, 450/640 (70%) of participants used any sort of CAM; 199/640 (31%) participants were seeing a CAM practitioner and 410/640 (64%) were taking a CAM medication. At 52 weeks, those using any CAM fell to 379/589 (64%). Independent predictors of CAM use at baseline were female gender, local ME group membership, prior duration of CFS and treatment preference. At 52 weeks, the associated variables were being female, local ME group membership, and not being randomised to the preferred trial arm. There were no significant associations between any CAM use and fatigue at either baseline or 52 weeks. CAM use at baseline was associated with a mean (CI) difference of 4.10 (1.28, 6.91; p = 0.024) increased SF36 physical function score at 52 weeks, which did not reach the threshold for a clinically important difference.

Conclusion: CAM use is common in patients with CFS. It was not associated with any clinically important trial outcomes.
chronic fatigue syndrome, complementary medicine, alternative medicine
0022-3999
37-42
Lewith, G.
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Stuart, B.
ab5138db-f67f-4bc3-a424-0bf0220cfc92
Chalder, T.
c4ee032d-a525-4b6f-a4f1-3edb878bbe15
McDermott, C.
eec8423c-c503-43be-8f79-ee5728df4949
White, P.
7af189b9-069f-440f-bbef-78c56ae40bb6
Lewith, G.
0fc483fa-f17b-47c5-94d9-5c15e65a7625
Stuart, B.
ab5138db-f67f-4bc3-a424-0bf0220cfc92
Chalder, T.
c4ee032d-a525-4b6f-a4f1-3edb878bbe15
McDermott, C.
eec8423c-c503-43be-8f79-ee5728df4949
White, P.
7af189b9-069f-440f-bbef-78c56ae40bb6

Lewith, G., Stuart, B., Chalder, T., McDermott, C. and White, P. (2016) Complementary and alternative healthcare use by participants in the PACE trial of treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 87, 37-42. (doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2016.06.005). (PMID:27411750)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is characterised by persistent fatigue, disability and a range of other symptoms. The PACE trial was randomised to compare four non-pharmacological treatments for patients with CFS in secondary care clinics. The aims of this sub study were to describe the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the trial sample and to test whether CAM use correlated with an improved outcome.

Method: CAM use was recorded at baseline and 52 weeks. Logistic and multiple regression models explored relationships between CAM use and both patient characteristics and trial outcomes.

Results: at baseline, 450/640 (70%) of participants used any sort of CAM; 199/640 (31%) participants were seeing a CAM practitioner and 410/640 (64%) were taking a CAM medication. At 52 weeks, those using any CAM fell to 379/589 (64%). Independent predictors of CAM use at baseline were female gender, local ME group membership, prior duration of CFS and treatment preference. At 52 weeks, the associated variables were being female, local ME group membership, and not being randomised to the preferred trial arm. There were no significant associations between any CAM use and fatigue at either baseline or 52 weeks. CAM use at baseline was associated with a mean (CI) difference of 4.10 (1.28, 6.91; p = 0.024) increased SF36 physical function score at 52 weeks, which did not reach the threshold for a clinically important difference.

Conclusion: CAM use is common in patients with CFS. It was not associated with any clinically important trial outcomes.

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Accepted/In Press date: 9 June 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 10 June 2016
Published date: August 2016
Keywords: chronic fatigue syndrome, complementary medicine, alternative medicine
Organisations: Primary Care & Population Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 397012
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/397012
ISSN: 0022-3999
PURE UUID: e85de068-83c6-488e-8646-a7ec5f95785b

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Date deposited: 20 Jun 2016 10:46
Last modified: 26 Nov 2019 06:39

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Contributors

Author: G. Lewith
Author: B. Stuart
Author: T. Chalder
Author: C. McDermott
Author: P. White

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