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Open Access Research article

Patient satisfaction of primary care for musculoskeletal diseases: A comparison between Neural Therapy and conventional medicine

Joelle Mermod1, Lorenz Fischer2, Lukas Staub1 and André Busato1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Evaluative Research in Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Bern, Stauffacherstrasse 78, CH-3014 Bern, Switzerland

2 Kollegiale Instanz für Komplementärmedizin (KIKOM), University of Bern, Imhoof-Pavillon, Inselspital, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2008, 8:33  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-8-33

Published: 24 June 2008

Abstract

Background

The main objective of this study was to assess and compare patient satisfaction with Neural Therapy (NT) and conventional medicine (COM) in primary care for musculoskeletal diseases.

Methods

A cross-sectional study in primary care for musculoskeletal disorders covering 77 conventional primary care providers and 18 physicians certified in NT with 241 and 164 patients respectively. Patients and physicians documented consultations and patients completed questionnaires at a one-month follow-up. Physicians documented duration and severity of symptoms, diagnosis, and procedures. The main outcomes in the evaluation of patients were: fulfillment of expectations, perceived treatment effects, and patient satisfaction.

Results

The most frequent diagnoses belonged to the group of dorsopathies (39% in COM, 46% in NT). We found significant differences between NT and COM with regard to patient evaluations. NT patients documented better fulfilment of treatment expectations and higher overall treatment satisfaction. More patients in NT reported positive side effects and less frequent negative effects than patients in COM. Also, significant differences between NT and COM patients were seen in the quality of the patient-physician interaction (relation and communication, medical care, information and support, continuity and cooperation, facilities availability, and accessibility), where NT patients showed higher satisfaction. Differences were also found with regard to the physicians' management of disease, with fewer work incapacity attestations issued and longer consultation times in NT.

Conclusion

Our findings show a significantly higher treatment and care-related patient satisfaction with primary care for musculoskeletal diseases provided by physicians practising Neural Therapy.