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P161. The use of complementary and alternative medicine in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Results from a cross-sectional study in Norway


R. Opheim1, T. Bernklev2, B. Moum3

1Oslo University Hospital, Department of Gastroenterology, University of Oslo, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Oslo, Norway; 2R&D, Telemark hospital, Skien, Norway; 3Oslo University Hospital, Department of Gastroenterology, Oslo, Norway



Background: The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has increased noticeably during the last two decades and is today common in the general population. The proportion of CAM use in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) varies widely depending on the definition of CAM. Our aim was to determine the proportion of CAM use in a cohort of IBD patients attending an outpatient clinic in Norway.

Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used. Data were collected using an international CAM questionnaire (I-CAM‑Q) about the use of CAM services, CAM products, and CAM techniques from adult patients attending an outpatient clinic at 14 hospitals in Norway. In addition, demographic and clinical variables were obtained.

Results: A total of 430 patients were included of whom 50% were female, 241 with Crohn's disease (CD) and 189 with ulcerative colitis (UC). The mean age of all patients was 40.7 years (range 18–79, SD 12.4), (CD 39.4 years/UC 42.2 years, p = 0.212). Mean disease duration was 10.8 years (SD 8.8), CD 12.7 years/UC 8.4 years (p = 0.004). Overall, 57.4% (247/430) had used CAM the last 12 months. When categorizing CAM into CAM services, CAM products, and CAM techniques the use was 43.7%, 68.8%, and 49%, respectively. The total exceeds 100% as many of the patients used more than one CAM modality. In total, significantly more women (67.9%) than men (47.5%) (p < 0.001) used CAM, but there were no gender differences in regard to CAM modality. When comparing the CAM users and non-users there were no significant differences regarding demographic variables including mean age and marital status, or clinical variables including disease type (CD/UC), use of medical therapy, disease duration and previous surgery. The most common CAM service was acupuncture (16.6%). Dietary supplements (55.8%) were the most common CAM products, and 21.3% used herbs. Preferred CAM technique was relaxation techniques (19.7%). Ninety-one percent reported that they had used CAM alongside their medical treatment.

Conclusions: Half of the patients had used CAM the last 12 months, and they used it as a complement to ordinary medical treatment. We found no differences between CAM users and non-users regarding demographic or clinical variables. The high use of dietary supplements indicates the importance of addressing this issue with the patients in clinical practice.