Physician perspectives on complementary and alternative medicine in hidradenitis suppurativa

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Dermatologic therapy


Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic and often debilitating inflammatory condition characterized by frequent nodules, abscesses, sinus tracts, and scars impacting the intertriginous areas. Many patients with HS often report limited treatment success and symptom coverage with conventional therapies. Recent studies have reported the widespread use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among patients with HS. In this study, our aim was to examine current physician practice patterns, opinions, and comfort with recommending CAM. Our results indicate that provider comfort and opinions on CAM varied based on the provider's experiences, demographics, and the CAM modality itself. Overall, nearly two-thirds (n = 30, 61.2%) of respondents agreed that CAM and conventional medicine were more effective together than either alone. Meanwhile, 44.9% (n = 22) of respondents routinely recommend CAM while 64.6% (n = 31) of respondents reported that they are routinely asked about CAM. The majority (n = 41, 83.7%) of respondents indicated a lack of scientific evidence in the medical literature as a barrier to recommending CAM along with efficacy concerns (n = 34, 69.4%) and ability to recommend reputable CAM products (n = 32, 65.3%) and practitioners (n = 32, 65.3%). Future investigations are warranted to establish a better understanding of the efficacy and benefit of CAM methods in conjunction with conventional methods.

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ePub ahead of print