Patterns of Mind-Body Therapies in Adults with Common Neurological Conditions
January 27, 2011
Over 40% of adults with common neurological conditions use complementary and
alternative medicine, and mind-body therapies are the most commonly used form.
In the December 2010 issue of the journal
Neuroepidemiology, three researchers from Harvard Medical
School reported their study that describes mind-body use in adults with common
They compared mind-body use between adults with and without common neurological
conditions (regular headaches, migraines, back pain with sciatica, strokes,
dementia, seizures or memory loss) using the 2007 National Health Interview
Survey of 23,393 sampled American adults.
The results show that the adults with common neurological conditions used
mind-body therapies more frequently than those without (24.5% vs. 16.6);
differences persisted after adjustment. Deep breathing exercises, meditation and
yoga were used most frequently. Nearly 70% of the adults with common
neurological conditions did not discuss their mind-body use with their health
care provider. Those with neurological conditions used mind-body therapies more
than those without these conditions because of provider recommendation (26 vs.
13%) or because conventional treatments were perceived ineffective (12 vs. 4%)
or too costly (7 vs. 2%), respectively.
Conclusions: Mind-body therapies are
used more frequently among adults with common neurological conditions, more
often when conventional treatments were perceived ineffective. More research is
warranted on the efficacy of mind-body use for common neurological conditions.