Randomized trial of the effect of an integrative medicine approach to the management of asthma in adults on disease-related quality of life and pulmonary function

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of an integrative medicine approach to the management of asthma compared to standard clinical care on quality of life (QOL) and clinical outcomes. Methods: This was a prospective parallel group repeated measurement randomized design. Participants were adults aged 18 to 80 years with asthma. The intervention consisted of six group sessions on the use of nutritional manipulation, yoga techniques, and journaling. Participants also received nutritional supplements: fish oil, vitamin C, and a standardized hops extract. The control group received usual care. Primary outcome measures were the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ), The Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-12 (SF-12), and standard pulmonary function tests (PFTs). Results: In total, 154 patients were randomized and included in the intention-to-treat analysis (77 control, 77 treatment). Treatment participants showed greater improvement than controls at 6 months for the AQLQ total score (P <.001) and for three subscales, Activity (P <0.001), Symptoms (P =.02), and Emotion (P<.001). Treatment participants also showed greater improvement than controls on three of the SF-12 subscales, Physical functioning (P=.003); Role limitations, Physical (P<.001); and Social functioning (P= 0.03), as well as in the aggregate scores for Physical and Mental health (P =.003 and.02, respectively). There was no change in PFTs in either group. Conclusion: A low-cost group-oriented integrative medicine intervention can lead to significant improvement in QOL in adults with asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-15
Number of pages6
JournalAlternative Therapies in Health and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012


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