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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 613596, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/613596
Research Article

The Use of Integrative Therapies in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in Shanghai, China

1Department of Neurology, Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 528 Zhangheng Road, Pudong New Area, Shanghai 201203, China
2Department of Neurology, Huashan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, China
3Department of Neurology, Putuo District Center Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200062, China
4Center for Clinical Effectiveness Evaluation, Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
5Department of Neurology, Pudong New Area Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201200, China
6Department of Neurology, Shanghai Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200071, China
7Department of Neurology, Longhua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200030, China
8Laboratory for Neurology of Institute of Integrative Medicine, Zhongshan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University, Shanghai 200093, China
9Department of Neurology, Xinhua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200092, China
10Department of Neurology, Ruijin Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200025, China
11Department of Cardiology, Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China

Received 5 August 2013; Revised 16 November 2013; Accepted 19 November 2013

Academic Editor: Wenxia Zhou

Copyright © 2013 Weidong Pan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. To investigate the current use of integrative therapies (IT) in the treatment of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods. A cross-sectional, multicenter clinical epidemiological survey was conducted in 12 hospitals in Shanghai. We investigated the type and frequency of IT use and determined whether the use of IT correlated with demographic, social, or disease-specific characteristics in our patient population. Results. A total of 231 (89.5%) of 258 patients with ALS were eligible for the study and 229 (99% of all) of 231 reported the use of at least one IT for the treatment of ALS. Vitamins and Chinese herb decoctions, Chinese herb compounds, massage therapy, and acupuncture were the 5 most commonly used therapies. There was a strong association between education level, income, and use of IT. A household income of more than 75,000 RMB ($49,995) correlated with multiple IT use, and married patients used IT more often than single individuals. The main reasons for using IT were to treat weakness and fatigue, muscle atrophy, the development of ALS, depression, insomnia, limb pain or numbness, and side effects associated with Riluzole. Conclusion. The use of IT is common in patients with ALS in Shanghai. Vitamins and TCM are the most used additional therapies and the widespread and largely unexamined use of IT for ALS requires more attention.