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

Laura Levy, DHSc, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not “probiotic supplementation helps decrease pain and number of tender joints in adults with rheumatoid arthritis?”

STUDY DESIGN: Review of three double-blind, randomized control trials published between 2008 and 2018. All studies were published in English in peer reviewed journals.

DATA SOURCES: Three double-blind, randomized control trials were found via PubMed.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: The outcomes measured included number of tender joints from baseline to end of study counted by an investigator, visual analog scale (VAS) for pain severity, and a Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire visual analog scale (HAQ VAS) for pain severity.

RESULTS: Two of the three articles found a statistically significant reduction in either patient pain or number of tender joints. Alipour et al. found a mean statistical decrease in 0.72 tender joints. Mandel et al. found a 19.8% decrease in patient pain compared to a 1.6% reduction in pain in the placebo group. Zamani et al. found no statistically significant effect of probiotics on patient pain.

CONCLUSION: There is conflicting evidence as to whether probiotic supplementation improves pain and number of tender joints in adults with rheumatoid arthritis. Further research is needed to determine the true effectiveness of probiotic supplementation on pain and number of tender joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Included in

Rheumatology Commons