Document Type: Special Articles

Authors

1 Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Sina MS Center, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences AND Iranian Center of Neurological Research, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable neurological disease leading to severe disability in young adults.  The  majority of MS patients  use  complementary and     alternative medicine  (CAM)  as adjunct  to conventional  therapies.  This study  aimed  to  investigate the prevalence  of CAM utilization among  Iranian patients with MS and their attitude  toward the CAM usage.Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 119 definite MS patients referred to Tehran’s Imam Khomeini and Sina hospitals. A questionnaire was used to examine the association between   participants’  health-related factors and usage  of CAMs interventions.P value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.Results: Among the enrolled patients, 60% of the participants agreed with using CAM, 42% experienced  the usage of these treatments; out of whom 41% believed its efficiency and  18% reported exacerbation of symptoms. The mean  duration of disease diagnosis  and  mean  time from symptom onset  were both longer in users of CAM (P = 0.001). Most socio-demographic factors had no significant effect on the type of used CAM. However, Yoga was  significantly  more applied  in those with higher degree of education  (P = 0.002).Conclusion: Regarding the widespread use of CAM by Iranian patients with MS, further researches  about  the safety  and  efficacy of  each  treatment  on  the  special outcomes  is recommended.