Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies


OBJECTIVE: The objective of the selective EBM review is to determine whether or not “Is Curcuma effective for the management of osteoarthritis knee pain?”

STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review of three randomized controlled trials (RCT) published in 2009, 2014, and 2016.

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

OUTCOMES MEASURED: The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) is a questionnaire that evaluates hip and knee osteoarthritis. The questions are divided into 3 subscales: pain, stiffness, and physical function. This paper is focusing on the pain scale when walking.

RESULTS: Kuptniratsaikul et al. (2014) found a decrease in knee pain on the pain scale with Curcuma domestica with a statistically significant p-value of 0.018, showing it is as effective as ibuprofen in pain reduction. Srivastava et al (2016) also shows a reduction in pain when using Curcuma longa (CL) with diclofenac comparing to a placebo with Diclofenac group. With a significant p-value of 0.0001, showing CL extract along with Diclofenac produces an overall significant improvement in patients with knee OA. Kuptniratsaikul et al (2009) shows a reduction in pain in both the Curcuma domestica group and ibuprofen group, but the differences of the outcomes were not statistically significant with the p-value of 0.2. It cannot be definitively concluded if Curcuma domestica is as effective as ibuprofen.

CONCLUSION: Two of the three studies shows statistical significance that Curcuma can reduce pain in knee osteoarthritis. While one showed no statistical significance with knee OA pain reduction, it is shown to be safe for the treatment of knee OA. Curcuma looks to be promising as a long-term treatment, but further research needs to be done.