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INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE DOCTOR

This is a short case.

Mrs Lori Dalton is a 67-year-old retired journalist. She is a keen bushwalker but is frustrated because of pain in her osteoarthritic knees, for which she takes oral ibuprofen 200 mg three times daily as needed. She has brought in the following abstract from an article in Australian Family Physician on rosehip powder. She will ask you questions about this.

Rosehip powder for arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease Background: Rosehips—which contain a particular type of galactolipid—have a specific anti-inflammatory action. A standardised rosehip powder has been developed to maximise the retention of phytochemicals. This powder has demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity as well as clinical benefits in conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Objective: To examine the evidence suggesting that standardised rosehip powder may be a viable replacement or supplement for conventional therapies used in inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.

Discussion: A meta-analysis of three randomised controlled trials involving 287 patients with a median treatment period of three months reported that treatment with standardised rosehip powder consistently reduced pain scores and that patients allocated to rosehip powder were twice as likely to respond to rosehip compared to placebo. In contrast to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin, rosehip has anti-inflammatory actions that do not have ulcerogenic effects and do not inhibit platelets nor influence the coagulation cascade or fibrinolysis.1

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE PATIENT, LORI DALTON

You are a 67-year-old retired journalist. You are a keen bushwalker but get frustrated because of the pain in your osteoarthritic knees. You have seen an advert for rosehip powder at your local health food shop and want to know whether to use this during your planned trekking holiday in Nepal. The advert quoted an article in the Australian Family Physician,1 so you have brought in the abstract to ask your GP about it.

You will ask the GP the following questions:

  1. What do you think about this article, doctor? Do you think that the information is reliable? (Supplementary question: Why do you think that?)

  2. The article talks about randomised controlled trials. Please would you explain what these are. And I’ve heard of some trials being ‘double blind’. What does this mean?

  3. Do you think the rosehip powder is worth trying?

  4. Will the rosehip powder be safe for me to take while also taking ibuprofen?

  5. Should I take it with me when I go on my trekking holiday to Nepal?

SUGGESTED ANSWERS

  1. What do you think about this article, doctor? Do you think that the information is reliable? (Supplementary question: Why do you think that?)

    This article is about using rosehip powder to help with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

    Factors to consider2, 3

    • Journal: the Australian Family Physician is a peer-reviewed, professional journal, indexed ...

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