Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of the selective EBM review is to determine whether or not, “Is curcumin effective at reducing pain in arthritis patients?”

STUDY DESIGN: Review of three, double blind, randomized controlled trials (RCTs), published between 2012 and 2014, all in English language. The articles compared oral curcumin to visually matched placebo or accepted standard treatment.

DATA SOURCES: Three RCTs were found using PubMed. All articles were published in peerreviewed journals and selected based on correlation to topic choice, date of publication, and evaluating POEMs.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: Patient reported pain level, as measured by visual analog scale (VAS) score.

RESULTS: All three studied demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in patients’ pain levels in the curcumin group versus the control group. Chandran et al reported a mean change in baseline pain of 59.9% in the curcumin group, as compared to 49.94% in control group. Nakagawa et al also demonstrated a statistically significant change in mean from baseline between curcumin treatment and placebo. Panahi et al similarly found a post-treatment reduction in VAS to be statistically significant between curcumin and placebo.

CONCLUSION: Based off the data collected from the three RCTs, curcumin is effective in reducing arthritis pain in patients.