Complementary and alternative medicine in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: A survey performed in a tertiary center in Chile

Antonia Fernández, Daniela Simian, Rodrigo Quera*, Lilian Flores, Patricio Ibáñez, Jaime Lubascher, Carolina Figueroa, Udo Kronberg, Gonzalo Pizarro, Daniela Fluxá

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the type and prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who are treated at our center. Design: Observational, cross-sectional questionnaire-based study that included patients from the IBD program of our center. Setting: Tertiary clinical center in Santiago, Chile. Main outcome measures: Types of CAM being used by patients with IBD. Results: A total of 200 patients were included, 68% ulcerative colitis, 29% Crohn's disease, and 3% non-classifiable IBD. Overall, 25% of the patients reported current use of CAM, 30% reported using in it the past, and 45% indicated that they had never used it before. The use of CAM was recommended in 20% of the patients by other healthcare professionals and in 10% of the patients by the gastroenterologist. Forty-nine percent of the patients informed the gastroenterologist that they were using CAM. Overall, 86% of the patients did not modify the conventional medical treatment (CMT). None of the patients who were using curcumin, homeopathic medicine, acupuncture or biomagnetism modified the CMT. Conclusions: The type of CAM being used plays an important role when the patient makes the decision to inform the gastroenterologist. Other healthcare professionals play an important role in providing the advice to start CAM. Gastroenterologists must be aware of the high prevalence of CAM use in IBD patients, actively ask about CAM use and guide the patients who want to use CAM in a responsible and safe manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-82
Number of pages6
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
StatePublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Crohn's disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Ulcerative colitis


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