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Use of Complementary Medicine in Competitive Sports: Results of a Cross-Sectional Study


Rotter, Gabriele; Schollbach, Lisa; Binting, Sylvia; Dornquast, Christina; Scherr, Johannes; Pfab, Florian; Brinkhaus, Benno (2020). Use of Complementary Medicine in Competitive Sports: Results of a Cross-Sectional Study. Complementary Medicine Research:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Although complementary medicine is frequently used in Germany, there is almost no information about complementary medicine use in competitive sports. The aim was to assess the use of complementary medicine among elite athletes in Germany.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

A cross-sectional study among athletes was performed between March 2012 and September 2013. Athletes of both sexes who visited a sports medical outpatient clinic in Munich, Bavaria were included. Data about the use of complementary medicine were collected by means of a standardized measurement instrument, the German version of the international complementary and alternative medicine questionnaire.

RESULTS

Of the 334 athletes (female 25%, mean age 20.2 ± 6.6 years) who completed all 4 sections of the questionnaire, 69% reported the use of at least one type of complementary medicine within the last 12 months. 505 athletes (female 26%, mean age 20.5 ± 7.0 years) completed at least one section of the questionnaire entirely. Within 12 months, the osteopath (11%), herbal medicine (17%), vitamins/minerals (32%), and relaxation techniques (15%) were the most frequently visited/used in relation to the respective sections of the questionnaire.

CONCLUSION

Complementary medicine is frequently used by athletes in Germany. The efficacy, safety, and costs of complementary medicine should be investigated in clinical trials among athletes in the future.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Although complementary medicine is frequently used in Germany, there is almost no information about complementary medicine use in competitive sports. The aim was to assess the use of complementary medicine among elite athletes in Germany.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

A cross-sectional study among athletes was performed between March 2012 and September 2013. Athletes of both sexes who visited a sports medical outpatient clinic in Munich, Bavaria were included. Data about the use of complementary medicine were collected by means of a standardized measurement instrument, the German version of the international complementary and alternative medicine questionnaire.

RESULTS

Of the 334 athletes (female 25%, mean age 20.2 ± 6.6 years) who completed all 4 sections of the questionnaire, 69% reported the use of at least one type of complementary medicine within the last 12 months. 505 athletes (female 26%, mean age 20.5 ± 7.0 years) completed at least one section of the questionnaire entirely. Within 12 months, the osteopath (11%), herbal medicine (17%), vitamins/minerals (32%), and relaxation techniques (15%) were the most frequently visited/used in relation to the respective sections of the questionnaire.

CONCLUSION

Complementary medicine is frequently used by athletes in Germany. The efficacy, safety, and costs of complementary medicine should be investigated in clinical trials among athletes in the future.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Language:English
Date:4 November 2020
Deposited On:18 Feb 2021 17:50
Last Modified:19 Feb 2021 21:00
Publisher:Karger
ISSN:2504-2092
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1159/000511247
PubMed ID:33147595

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Language: English
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only until 1 November 2021
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Embargo till: 2021-11-01