Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Qigong for Fibromyalgia

I’ve just chanced to have a look at an article on qigong as a treatment for fibromyalgia.
J Sawynok and colleagues published: “Extension trial of qigong for fibromyalgia: A quantitative and qualitative study”. The articleappeared in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 09/10/2013 (http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/726062/).
The study is biased in selecting patients (no randomisation). It is lacking a control group. It only looks at completers and leaves out the 35% withdrawals. It didn’t have a primary endpoint. In result we read: “A highly motivated subgroup of N = 5, who practiced the most, had the best outcomes in terms of end symptomology [symptomatology], and qualitative comments indicated health benefits in other domains as well.”
So, what happened? The authors used one study (N = 73) and invited these completers to join an extended study, which some did (N = 20). In the course of the intervention (qigong) a part of then withdrew (N = 7) and the highly motivated subgroup of N = 5 had the best outcomes.
What does the study prove? Nothing at all!

And that is bad, because I think that qigong might be added in a multimodal therapy.

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