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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 5239719, 9 pages
Research Article

The Long-Term Course of Outcomes for Lumbar Intervertebral Disc Herniation following Integrated Complementary and Alternative Medicine Inpatient Treatment: A Prospective Observational Study

Jaseng Spine and Joint Research Institute, Jaseng Medical Foundation, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to In-Hyuk Ha; moc.liamg@atahinah

Received 23 March 2017; Revised 30 June 2017; Accepted 18 July 2017; Published 27 August 2017

Academic Editor: Mohammed S. Ali-Shtayeh

Copyright © 2017 Moon-Hwi Kim 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.


A prospective observational study was conducted in 524 lumbar intervertebral disc herniation (LDH) inpatients to report the long-term effects of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatment. Participants received integrative CAM treatment during hospitalization, from June 2012 to May 2013, and long-term outcomes were assessed from July to August 2016. Numerical rating scales (NRSs) of back and leg pain, the Oswestry disability index (ODI), satisfaction, surgery, recurrence, and current care status were investigated. Baseline characteristics were analyzed to determine factors that predicted long-term satisfaction. A total of 367 patients were available for follow-up. The long-term change in NRS of back and leg pain and ODI was 3.53 (95% CI, 3.22, 3.83), 2.72 (2.34, 3.11), and 32.89 (30.21, 35.57), respectively, showing that improvements were well sustained. Regarding satisfaction, 86.11% responded that they were “slightly improved” or better. Range of lumbar flexion ≤ 60° and both legs’ pain at admission were significant predictors of “much improved” or better satisfaction in the long term. Overall, LDH patients who received CAM treatment maintained favorable states in the long term. However, as an uncontrolled observational study, further studies with placebo and/or active controls are warranted. Trial Registration. This trial is registered with  NCT02257723 (date of registration: October 2, 2014).