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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine

, 14:388

Patterns of use, knowledge and attitudes

Abstract

BackgroundLittle is known about the use of complementary and alternative medicine CAM for colorectal cancer, despite the high incidence of colorectal cancer and the frequency of CAM use for cancer-related symptoms. This is the first Danish study to examine the use of CAM by individuals who completed hospital treatment for colorectal cancer.

MethodsIn 2011–12, a pragmatic trial on energy healing as rehabilitation after colorectal cancer was conducted in Denmark with participants who had completed cancer-related hospital treatment within the past 18 months prior to study inclusion. As part of the trial, participants n = 247 completed a questionnaire on the use, motivations, pathways and perceived benefits of CAM. Socio-demographic information was obtained via the Danish National Patient Registry and self-report. Descriptive statistics were generated, using SPSS, version 18, and logistic regression analysis was carried out.

ResultsOf 247 individuals, 49.4% used some form of CAM in the past month. Nearly half of the CAM users 49.2% used natural medicines and-or dietary supplements only; 32% consulted an alternative therapist; 18.9% used both. Those who consulted alternative therapists were most commonly women OR: 3.36; p = .002; CI: 1.54-7.33 with high educational levels OR: 2.77; p = 0.010; CI: 1.28-6.01; more women than men used natural medicines and-or dietary supplements OR: 1.83; p = .047; CI: 1.01-3.30 independent of educational levels. A majority commenced CAM on their own initiative; CAM was predominantly used to achieve better physical wellbeing. Beneficial effects were reported particularly in relation to physical health; few harmful effects were reported. Of those using CAM, 51.5% did not disclose its use to their physician; 8.5% of participants reported to have been asked by their physician about CAM use.

ConclusionThe use of CAM following completion of hospital treatment for colorectal cancer seems widespread in Denmark. The identified extensive CAM use suggests a need for more reliable and diverse information about CAM for both patients and biomedical providers, and improved communication about its use in the clinical context.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1472-6882-14-388 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Nina Nissen - Anita Lunde - Christina Gundgaard Pedersen - Helle Johannessen

Source: https://link.springer.com/



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