Published online Nov 12, 2015. doi: 10.5499/wjr.v5.i3.142
Peer-review started: November 28, 2014
First decision: December 12, 2014
Revised: June 27, 2015
Accepted: July 29, 2015
Article in press: August 3, 2015
Published online: November 12, 2015
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is increasing worldwide; specifically it appears that these treatment modalities are popular among rheumatology patients. The most commonly reported CAM therapies are herbal medicines, homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture and reflexology. Despite high reported rates of CAM use, the number of patients disclosing use to their rheumatologists remains low. This review highlights rates of current CAM use in rheumatology in studies performed worldwide, and discusses potential reasons for nondisclosure of CAM use to clinicians.
Core tip: Complementary and alternative medicine is widely used among rheumatology patients, who often do not inform their consultants that they are using such therapies. This may reflect a fear that clinicians may not approve, or a lack of awareness that the information may be helpful in their management. Increased awareness of the issue, and better education of clinicians and patients is beneficial.