Use of complementary and alternative medicine by patients with psoriasis

Published:March 29, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2019.03.059
      To the Editor: Research on the efficacy of complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) for psoriasis is increasing,
      • Gamret A.
      • Price A.
      • Fertig R.M.
      • Lev-Tov H.
      • Nichols A.J.
      Complementary and alternative medicine therapies for psoriasis: a systematic review.
      but patients may misunderstand the benefits of these therapies. Previous studies have examined the rate of CAM utilization, reporting use as high as 62%.
      • Fleischer A.
      • Feldman S.
      • Rapp S.
      • Reboussin D.
      • Exum M.
      • Clark A.
      Alternative therapies commonly used within a population of patients with psoriasis.
      • Damevska K.
      • Neloska L.
      • Nikolovska S.
      • Gocev G.
      • Duma S.
      Complementary and alternative medicine use among patients with psoriasis.
      However, these studies failed to delve into patients' reasons for using CAMs, and the populations sampled limit the widespread applicability of the results.
      • Fleischer A.
      • Feldman S.
      • Rapp S.
      • Reboussin D.
      • Exum M.
      • Clark A.
      Alternative therapies commonly used within a population of patients with psoriasis.
      • Damevska K.
      • Neloska L.
      • Nikolovska S.
      • Gocev G.
      • Duma S.
      Complementary and alternative medicine use among patients with psoriasis.
      • Magin P.J.
      • Adams J.
      • Heading G.S.
      • Pond D.C.
      • Smith W.
      Complementary and alternative medicine therapies in acne, psoriasis, and atopic eczema: results of a qualitative study of patients' experiences and perceptions.
      This institutional review board–approved survey was disseminated by the National Psoriasis Foundation to determine the types of CAMs used and patients' motivations for using CAM. Statistical analyses were performed using chi-square tests.

      Abbreviations used:

      CAM ( Complementary and alternative medicine)
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        Complementary and alternative medicine therapies for psoriasis: a systematic review.
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      Linked Article

      • Response to: “Use of complementary and alternative medicine by patients with psoriasis”
        Journal of the American Academy of DermatologyVol. 81Issue 4
        • In Brief
          To the Editor: We read the article by Murphy et al1 keenly. It touches on issues that are pertinent to our specialty in particular and our profession in general. Furthermore, it buttresses findings that there is increasing use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among the general populace,2 with 34.5% of adults using CAM and 42.3% of these not discussing this use with their primary physician.2 Top reasons were physician not inquiring (57%) and physician not needing to know (46.2%).2 These findings are clearly important to our relationship with our patients because they may indicate a mismatch between patient preferences and what we physicians have to offer, as well as a “trust deficit.”3 More research into CAM may therefore not only be informative for physicians, as the authors suggest, but may also help address this apparent mismatch and trust deficit, further improving patient satisfaction.
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