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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

A Systematic Review of Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine: "Miscellaneous Therapies"

Bergh, Anna; Lund, Irene; Bostrom, Anna; Hyytiainen, Heli; Asplund, Kjell

Abstract

Simple Summary Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine (CAVM) is commonly used in animals. However, there is limited knowledge of how the methods affect the animal. Therefore, this study reviews the scientific literature of 24 different CAVM therapies used in cats, dogs, and horses. Three core bibliographic sources were used. Relevant articles were assessed for scientific quality, and information was extracted on study characteristics, species, type of treatment, indication, and treatment effects. Of 982 unique publications screened, 42 were eligible for inclusion, representing nine different CAVM therapies, which were aromatherapy, gold therapy, homeopathy, leeches (hirudotherapy), mesotherapy, mud, neural therapy, sound (music) therapy, and vibration therapy. For the other 15 predefined therapies, no study was identified. The risk of bias was assessed as high in 17 studies, moderate to high in 10, moderate in 10, low to moderate in four, and low in one study. In those studies where the risk of bias was low to moderate, there was considerable heterogeneity in reported treatment effects. Therefore, the 24 CAVM therapies do not have scientific documentation of sufficient quality to draw clear conclusions regarding their clinical effect. There is an increasing interest in complementary and alternative veterinary medicine (CAVM). There is, however, an uncertainty of the efficacy of these methods. Therefore, the aim of this systematic literature review is to assess the evidence for clinical efficacy of 24 CAVM therapies used in cats, dogs, and horses. A bibliographic search, restricted to studies in cats, dogs, and horses, was performed on Web of Science Core Collection, CABI, and PubMed. Relevant articles were assessed for scientific quality, and information was extracted on study characteristics, species, type of treatment, indication, and treatment effects. Of 982 unique publications screened, 42 were eligible for inclusion, representing nine different CAVM therapies, which were aromatherapy, gold therapy, homeopathy, leeches (hirudotherapy), mesotherapy, mud, neural therapy, sound (music) therapy, and vibration therapy. For 15 predefined therapies, no study was identified. The risk of bias was assessed as high in 17 studies, moderate to high in 10, moderate in 10, low to moderate in four, and low in one study. In those studies where the risk of bias was low to moderate, there was considerable heterogeneity in reported treatment effects. Therefore, the scientific evidence is not strong enough to define the clinical efficacy of the 24 CAVM therapies.

Keywords

aromatherapy; gold therapy; homeopathy; leeches; mesotherapy; mud; neural therapy; music therapy; vibration therapy

Published in

Animals
2021, volume: 11, number: 12, article number: 3356
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Lund, Irene
Karolinska Institutet
Bostrom, Anna
University of Helsinki
Hyytiainen, Heli
University of Helsinki
Asplund, Kjell
Umea University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences

UKÄ Subject classification

Clinical Science

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123356

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/115220