Researchers in Winnipeg, Manitoba surveyed the prevalence of CAM use in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

First, the details.

  • The Manitoba IBD Cohort Study is a study of determinants of health outcomes in people with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease).
  • Participants completed semi-annual surveys, and annual in-person interviews.

And, the results.

  • 74% of respondents used a CAM service or product over 4.5 years.
    • 14% used CAM consistently.
  • There was a trend for women to use CAM more than men.
  • There was no difference in CAM use between patients with Crohn’s disease and those with ulcerative colitis.
  • The most often used CAM services:
    • Massage therapy (30%)
    • Chiropractic (14%)
    • Physiotherapy (4%)
    • Acupuncture (3.5%)
    • Naturopathy/homeopathy (3.5%)
  • Most commonly used CAM products:
    • Lactobacillus acidophilus (8%)
    • Fish and other oils (5.5%)
    • Glucosamine (4%)
    • Chamomile (3.5%)
  • On average, only 18% of consumers used CAM for their IBD.
    • Most chose it for other problems.
  • There were no differences in psychological variables between CAM users and non-users.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Those with IBD commonly try CAM, although very few use these approaches regularly over the years. CAM is not usually used by patients with IBD for disease management.”

8/14/11 22:35 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.