Alternative medicine

Men and Hispanic patients are less likely to incorporate alternative medicine

Among patients with rheumatic diseases, men and members of the Hispanic community were significantly less likely to use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), according to a recent study survey by CreakyJoints.

Common CAM strategies include tai chi, massage, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and vitamins, and can help patients manage symptoms of chronic arthritis.

Participants were recruited through the CreakyJoints and COVID-19 Patient Support Program mailing lists and asked to complete a 6-question survey between December 2 and December 16, 2021. Patients were asked about their rheumatic disease, therapies CAM and the approaches they found most effective. the most useful.

Eligible patients had a clinical diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis (PsA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS) or axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), osteoarthritis (OA) or juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) .

“At the start of a new year, many people think about their goals for the next 12 months. We conducted this survey to better understand how people with arthritis manage their condition beyond prescribed medications and to start a conversation about why a holistic patient-centered approach is essential to maintaining physical, emotional and mental well-being throughout the year,” said Daniel Hernandez, MD, Director of Medical Affairs and Outreach Hispanic, CreakyJoints.

Of 847 patients surveyed, 87% were female, 81% identified as white, and the average age was 61. Most (65%) had RA or JIA, and 25% reported having spondyloarthritis (SpA) of one type or another.

Most participants (89%) used CAMs as part of their arthritis management, including vitamins (71%), herbs (34%) and joint supplements (47%). Among alternative medicine strategies, the most helpful among patients were massage (76%), Chi Gong (76%), yoga (74%), relaxation and mind/body activities (72%), and spiritual practice (71%).

A total of 27% of men said they had never used MCA and only 11% incorporated it into their disease management routine. Conversely, 89% of women surveyed have tried alternative medicine at some point.

White respondents were significantly more likely to have used CAM than never to have used it (82% vs 71% mp=0.007) compared to Hispanic or Latino participants (13% vs 32%, p

“A diagnosis of arthritis requires a lifetime management commitment and there will be times when a person with arthritis will feel better and better. Our CreakyJoints survey and other existing peer-reviewed studies show that CAMs can positively impact the experience of symptoms,” Hernandez explained. “However, our survey also suggests that more education is needed to encourage men and members of the Hispanic community to understand the range of CAM therapies available and to encourage them to speak with the team of healthcare providers about the therapy that might benefit them.”

Creaking joints® is an international digital community for patients and caregivers to receive patient-centered education, support, advocacy and research. Patients are encouraged to use their ArthritisPower® Research Registry, a free mobile and desktop app for people with arthritis, joint, bone and inflammatory skin conditions, and rheumatological expressions of gastrointestinal tact. Patients can participate in research studies and track their experience of rheumatic disease, including medication and treatment, signs and symptoms, and CAM. The app is also available in Spanish.

To learn more about CAM, visit Alternative medicine for creaky joints.