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Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2008 Aug;14(3):176-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2008.03.001. Epub 2008 May 7.

Complementary therapy use by persons with multiple sclerosis: benefits and research priorities.

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School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, Baines Wing, Leeds LS2 9UT, UK.


People with multiple sclerosis (MS) are commonly actively involved in self-care, with many accessing complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to help in symptom management. To provide increased insight into benefits from CAM use and service user ideas over research priorities, a two-part study, involving a questionnaire and interactive workshop, was undertaken with attendees at a national Congress of the MS Trust in the UK. The six most used therapies were reflexology, massage, yoga, relaxation and meditation, acupuncture and aromatherapy. Each was rated by a quarter to two-fifths as 'extremely helpful'. Insight into the nature of the therapeutic benefit was provided in user comments. Despite the self-selected nature of the sample, the findings point to potential benefits of a set of CAM therapies in helping people with MS. More research on potential benefits of therapies was called for by participants and on the dynamics of the therapeutic effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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