Use of complementary and alternative medicine in recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis-Results of a practitioner survey

General Practice and Primary Health Care Academic Centre, University of Melbourne, Australia.
Complementary therapies in medicine (Impact Factor: 1.55). 08/2012; 20(4):218-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2012.01.004
Source: PubMed


The mainstream long term management of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) often results in poor outcomes. It is expensive and unacceptable for many women who therefore have incorporated complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into their personal care plan.
To ascertain clinicians' knowledge of CAM and their recommendations for the use of CAM and non-pharmacological management in women with RVVC.
Anonymous, single page, self completed survey using convenience sampling at a vulval disorders meeting in New South Wales, Australia in 2009.
Sixty six health professionals (medical practitioners, dermatologists, nurses and allied health professionals).
Most clinicians reported asking about their patients' use of CAM and non-pharmacological management of RVVC, although only around half reported recommending it. CAM management included lactobacillus, oral and vaginal yoghurt, vinegar, garlic, Chinese medicine and tea-tree oil. Non-pharmacological management included dietary changes and use of cotton undergarments. Lactobacillus was the most commonly recommended CAM.
CAM is popular with patients and many clinicians actively recommend its use in RVVC despite limited supporting evidence. Further research in the area of CAM and RVVC is long overdue.

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    • "In Italy, the prevalence of these relapses is estimated to be about 5 out of 16 women (Asticcioli et al., 2009). The discomfort leads most affected women to use natural products or unqualified medicaments for the treatment and/or prevention of relapses (Cassone, 2015; Watson et al., 2012). Among the interventions based on natural substances , those using TTO, as said, are the most suitable both for low toxicity at concentrations <20% (Hammer et al., 2006) and for the fungicidal activity also towards drug-resistant strains. "
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    • "The cost of long-term treatment has been estimated at AUD 900 ($ 862) in Australia [14]. Many RVVC patients turn to alternative remedies like yoghurt and vinegar which only have very short-term palliative effects [15,16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recurrent vulvovaginal candidosis (RVVC) is a chronic condition causing discomfort and pain. Health status and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in RVVC were never previously described using validated questionnaires. The objective of this study is to describe subjective health status and HRQoL and estimate health state utilities among women with RVVC. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted among women who reported having suffered four or more yeast infections over the past 12 months, in five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) and the USA. Index scores were derived from the EQ-5D, a questionnaire providing a single index value for health status. The SF-36 questionnaire was used for HRQoL assessment. Information on disease severity, treatment patterns and productivity was also collected. 12,834 members of online research panels were contacted. Among them, 620 women with RVVC (5%) were selected to complete the full questionnaire. The mean EQ-5D index score was 0.70 (95% confidence interval: [0.67, 0.72]) and the difference between women with a yeast infection at the time of questionnaire completion and other respondents was 0.05 (p = 0.47). The EQ-5D index score increased significantly with the time since last infection (p < 0.001). 68% of women reported depression/anxiety problems during acute episode, and 54% outside episodes, compared to less than 20% in general population (p < 0.001). All SF-36 domain scores were significantly below general population norms. Mental health domains were the most affected. The impact on productivity was estimated at 33 lost work hours per year on average, corresponding to estimated costs between [euro sign]266/year and [euro sign]1,130/year depending on the country. Subjective health status and HRQoL during and in between acute inflammatory episodes in women with RVVC are significantly worse than in the general population, despite the use of antifungal therapy. The average index score in women with RVVC is comparable to other diseases such as asthma or COPD and worse than diseases such as headache/migraine according to US and UK catalogs of index scores. The survey also revealed a significant loss of productivity associated with RVVC.
    Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 10/2013; 11(1):169. DOI:10.1186/1477-7525-11-169 · 2.12 Impact Factor
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    Complementary Therapies in Medicine 10/2012; 20(5):375. DOI:10.1016/j.ctim.2012.07.001 · 1.55 Impact Factor
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