In searching for more ways to feel better, we wanted to know how POTS patients felt about counseling. Granted, there are many different kinds of counseling, but we were curious whether any trends would emerge about its effectiveness in general. We used the POTS Patient-Powered Survey to enquire.
In the survey, we listed counseling among other therapies, and asked participants:
A) whether they had tried it, and B) whether it had "helped lots!" "helped a little," "didn't help," or "made my POTS worse."
Below are the responses from 430 POTS patients.
Yes, 177 No, 253
Next, for those 177 who had tried it, below are their ratings:
Helped a lot!, 10% Helped a little, 33% Didn't help, 54% Made my POTS worse, 3%
At first glance, it appears encouraging that counseling was rated as helpful (a little or a lot) by 43% of those who had tried it. A full 10% said it "helped a lot!" On the down side, 3% rated counseling as making their POTS worse. While this not ideal, counseling did have a lower rate of making POTS worse, as compared to some other therapies, listed below.
Next, we compared effectiveness ratings for counseling to those for acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, essential oils and elevating the head of the bed. For each, we identified POTS patients who had tried the therapy and then looked at their ratings of whether it helped their POTS:
"Counseling (n=177)", 43% "Physical therapy (n=183)", 54% "Massage (n=132)", 63% "Acupuncture (n=100)", 44% "Essential oils (n=89)", 54% "Elevating head of bed (n=231)", 52%
What is perhaps most encouraging is that each therapy helped a number of patients, and that multiple therapies might be combined for additive benefits.