Complementary and alternative medicine interests among oncology patients
Mellang, Martina S.
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Aims and objectives. The aim for this study was to determine Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) use and interest among cancer patients treated at a Midwestern Health System. This study also aimed to guide providers at the Midwestern Health System to become more aware of cancer patients? desire to use CAM to help cope with cancer diagnosis and reduce symptoms of treatment. Background. CAM use is increasing specifically among cancer patients and survivors. Higher proportions of CAM users are female, younger, and have a high level of education. Specifically in cancer patients, CAM use increased when cancer patients believed and acted on personal control of their health. Design. A descriptive cross-sectional study. Methods. A total of 411 cancer patients were mailed a survey with 177 cancer patients who participated in this study. The survey included questions on CAM use before cancer diagnosis and after cancer diagnosis, reasons for use, disclosure of CAM use to provider, and health beliefs. The data was analyzed using chi square and analysis of variance. Results. Results indicated a significant difference in CAM use by age, gender, and type of cancer. Conclusions. Future CAM research should target young adults ages 18-35 to gain a better understanding of this population. Relevance to clinical practice. Awareness of cancer patients desires, knowledge, and attitudes towards CAM can help providers give the best possible individualized care. Providers? awareness of their patients interests of CAM can lead to fewer barriers regarding use and education of CAM to promote health and well-being before, during, and after cancer diagnosis.