An important finding from this trial was the effectiveness of theNaturopathic care. We expected to see an effect on quality of life as the Naturopathic care group received treatment aimed at relaxation and improved nutrition. Quality of life appears to be linked to chronic back pain and so our finding on quality of life improvement suggests that further research on the long-term effects of Naturopathic care would be of interest to patients.
Further to this, we observed a significant decrease in the weight and BMI of participants in the Naturopathic care group compared to the control group, with a relative decrease of 1.46 Kgs (95% CI, 22.60, 20.32) between groups (P= 0.0052) and a mean decrease of 0.52 (20.96, 20.08) BMI between groups (P for difference=0.01).
Many patients access complementary therapy providers over physicians or more traditionally regulated professions due to the perception that CAM practitioners provide a more holistic treatment package, which examines physical complaints along with mental and emotional concerns, and indeed sometimes spiritual concerns. Our study did not aim to determine participant contentment with Naturopathic care over other therapies, but we did receive systematic feedback in the form of optional comments on the forms that the participants in the Naturopathic care group increased their interest in seeking CAM care and developed an increased appreciation for Naturopathic care. The results from this first randomized trial evaluating naturopathic care for chronic low back pain suggest that further research is warranted to determine the generalizability of this intervention, the specific contribution of individual treatment components, and the cost benefit associated with this therapy.
Orest Szczurko1, Kieran Cooley1, Jason W. Busse2, Dugald Seely1, Bob Bernhardt1, Gordon H. Guyatt2, Qi Zhou2, Edward J. Mills2*
1 Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2 Department of Clinical Epidemiology and
Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada