Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published online by De Gruyter August 30, 2021

Low back pain patients’ perceived effectiveness of utilizing complementary and alternative medicine: a systematic review of qualitative studies

Jeremy Y. Ng ORCID logo, Mrinal Anagal ORCID logo and Trisha Bhowmik ORCID logo

Abstract

Objectives

The purpose of this systematic review of qualitative studies is to explore patients’ perceived effectiveness of utilizing complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for the treatment and/or management of low back pain (LBP).

Methods

MEDLINE, EMBASE, AMED, and CINAHL were systematically searched from database inception until May 2020. Eligible articles included qualitative data about LBP patients’ perceptions of using CAM.

Results

Of 1,567 items, 1,542 items were excluded; the remaining 25 articles were included in this review. Three themes emerged as follows: physical benefits; mental health benefits; and negative or no perceived effectiveness of CAM on patients with LBP.

Conclusions

This study explores perceptions of CAM effectiveness among patients with LBP. These findings provide valuable information to CAM and non-CAM practitioners regarding the importance of individualized patient care based on their preferences, values, needs, and perspectives. Further exploration could include practitioners’ perceptions of CAM and their impact on the patient-practitioner relationship.


Corresponding author: Jeremy Y. Ng, Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery, Room 2112, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, OntarioL8S 4K1, Canada, E-mail:

Funding source: McMaster University10.13039/100009776

Award Identifier / Grant number: Research Scholarship

Award Identifier / Grant number: Entrance Scholarship

  1. Research funding: JYN was awarded a Research Scholarship and an Entrance Scholarship from the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.

  2. Authors’ contributions: JYN: designed and conceptualized the study, collected and analysed data, critically revised the manuscript, and gave final approval of the version to be published. MA: assisted with the collection and analysis of data, co-drafted the manuscript, and gave final approval of the version to be published. TB: assisted with the collection and analysis of data, co-drafted the manuscript, and gave final approval of the version to be published. All authors have read and approved the manuscript.

  3. Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

  4. Ethics approval and consent to participate: This study involved a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature only; it did not require ethics approval or consent to participate.

  5. Consent for publication: All authors consent to this manuscript’s publication.

  6. Availability of data and materials: All relevant data are included in this manuscript.

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Received: 2021-02-16
Accepted: 2021-08-17
Published Online: 2021-08-30

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