alexa Estimated Effects of Whole-system Naturopathic Medicine
ISSN: 2327-5162

Alternative & Integrative Medicine
Open Access

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Review Article

Estimated Effects of Whole-system Naturopathic Medicine in Select Chronic Disease Conditions: A Systematic Review

Erica B. Oberg*, Ryan Bradley, Kieran Cooley, Heidi Fritz, Joshua Z. Goldenberg, Dugald Seely, Jane D. Saxton and Carlo Calabrese

Pacific Pearl La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Erica B. Oberg
Professor, Pacific Pearl La Jolla
San Diego, CA 92037, USA
Tel: 8584596919
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date March 25, 2015; Accepted date April 21, 2015; Published date April 24, 2015

Citation: Oberg EB, Bradley R, Cooley K, Fritz H, Goldenberg JZ, et al. (2015) Estimated Effects of Whole-system Naturopathic Medicine in Select Chronic Disease Conditions: A Systematic Review. Altern Integr Med 4:192. doi:10.4172/2327-5162.1000192

Copyright: © 2015 Oberg EB, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

 

Abstract

Background: Naturopathic medicine (NM) is a holistic approach to primary care that almost always employs multi-modal interventions, i.e. nutrition and lifestyle change recommendations plus dietary supplements. While evidence supports individual elements of NM, the whole practice is often critiqued for its lack of evidence. Methods: We systematically searched PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane Library and AMED from inception to April, 2012 as well as conducting hand searches of existing grey literature. For inclusion, studies had to report results from multi-modal treatment delivered by North American naturopathic doctors. The effect size for each study was calculated; no pooled analysis was undertaken. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias as well as Downs and Black tools. Results: Fifteen studies met inclusion criteria, investigating a range of chronic diseases of public health significance. Studies were of good quality and had low to medium risk of bias including acknowledged limitations of pragmatic trials. Effect sizes (Cohen's d ) for the primary medical outcomes varied and were statistically significant (p<0.05) in 10 out of 13 studies. A quality of life metric was included in all of the randomized controlled trials with medium effect size and statistical significance in some subscales. Conclusions: Previous reports about the lack of evidence or benefit of NM are inaccurate; a small but compelling body of research exists. Further investigation is warranted into the effectiveness of whole practice NM for across a range of health conditions. [PROSPERO 2012:CRD42012002176]

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