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Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2012 May;18(2):114-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2011.09.003. Epub 2011 Nov 13.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) use by Malaysian oncology patients.

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  • 1Faculty of Pharmacy, Campus Bukit Mertajam, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), 13500 Sebrang Perai, Penang, Malaysia.


The current study sought to evaluate Malaysian oncology patients' decision making about the use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for the management of their care. Patients were interviewed across three major Malaysian ethnic groups, Malay, Chinese and Indian. Thematic content analysis identified four central themes: Conceptualizing CAM, the decision making process; rationale given for selecting or rejecting CAM and barriers to CAM use. Participants generally used the term 'traditional medicine', referred to locally as 'ubat kampung', meaning medicine derived from 'local traditions'. Mixed reactions were shown concerning the effectiveness of CAM to cure cancer and the slow progression of CAM results and treatment costs were cited as major barriers to CAM use. Concerns regarding safety and efficacy of CAM in ameliorating cancer as well as potential interactions with conventional therapies highlighted the importance of patients' knowledge about cancer treatments.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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