The SIMM study: Survey of integrative medicine in myeloproliferative neoplasms

Krisstina Gowin, Blake T. Langlais, Heidi E. Kosiorek, Amylou Dueck, Denise Millstine, Jennifer Huberty, Ryan Eckert, Ruben A. Mesa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are characterized by significant symptom burden. Integrative medicine (IM) offers unique symptom management strategies. This study describes IM interventions utilized by MPN patients and the association with symptom burden, quality of life, depression, and fatigue adjusted for lifestyle confounders. MPN patients were surveyed online for IM utilization, MPN symptom burden (MPN-Symptom Assessment Form Total Symptom Score), depression (Patient Health Questionnaire), fatigue (Brief Fatigue Inventory), and a single question on overall quality of life. Measures were compared by IM participation and adjusted for alcohol and tobacco use, BMI, diet, and MPN type using multiple linear and logistic regression. A total of 858 participants were included in the analysis. Aerobic activity (p =< 0.001) and strength training (p = 0.01) were associated with lower mean symptom burden while massage (p =< 0.001) and support groups (p =< 0.001) were associated with higher levels of symptom burden. Higher quality of life was reported in massage (p = 0.04) and support groups (p = 0.002) while lower quality of life was noted in aerobic activity (p =< 0.001) and strength training (p = 0.001). A lower depression screening score was noted in those participating in aerobic activity (p = 0.006), yoga (p = 0.03), and strength training (p = 0.02). Lower fatigue was noted in those participating in aerobic activity (p =< 0.001) and strength training (p = 0.03) while higher fatigue was noted in those participating in massage (p =< 0.001) and breathing techniques (p = 0.02). Data available on request from the authors. This international survey of MPN patients on IM usage, has shown that patients who participated in a form of IM had a pattern of decreased levels of symptom burden, fatigue, depression, and higher QoL, as adjusted for health lifestyle practices overall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9445-9453
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • essential thrombocytosis
  • integrative medicine
  • lifestyle
  • myelofibrosis
  • myeloproliferative neoplasms
  • polycythemia vera
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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