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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2014 Jan;124(1):51-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2013.07.019. Epub 2013 Oct 5.

Integrating a complementary medicine consultation for women undergoing chemotherapy.

Author information

  • 1Integrative Oncology Program, Oncology Service, Lin Medical Center, Clalit Health Services, Haifa, Israel; Complementary and Traditional Medicine Unit, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. Electronic address: eranben@netvision.net.il.
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine and Integrative Surgery Service, Bnai Zion Hospital, Haifa, Israel.
  • 3Integrative Oncology Program, Oncology Service, Lin Medical Center, Clalit Health Services, Haifa, Israel; Clalit Complementary Medicine, Clalit Health Services, Haifa, Israel.
  • 4Integrative Oncology Program, Oncology Service, Lin Medical Center, Clalit Health Services, Haifa, Israel.
  • 5Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gynecologic Oncology Service, Carmel Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore oncology healthcare providers' (HCPs') patterns of referral of women undergoing chemotherapy to a complementary medicine (CM) consultation integrated within a conventional oncology service.

METHODS:

Oncology HCPs used a structured referral system for referral to an integrative physician (IP) for CM consultation. Referral goals were in accordance with a specified list of quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes.

RESULTS:

In total, the study HCPs referred 282 female patients, of whom 238 (84.4%) underwent CM consultation by the study IP: 59 (24.8%) with gynecologic cancer and 179 (75.2%) with non-gynecologic cancer. Use of CM for cancer-related outcomes was significantly higher among referred patients with gynecologic cancer than those with non-gynecologic cancer (69.5% vs 46.9%; P=0.003). Oncologists initiated most of the referrals in the gynecologic oncology group, whereas oncologic nurses referred most patients in the non-gynecologic oncology group. Among patients with gynecologic cancer, the correlation between HCP indication and patient expectation was high for gastrointestinal concerns (κ 0.41).

CONCLUSION:

The integration of a structured and informed process of referral to CM consultation may enhance patient-centered care and QOL during chemotherapy.

© 2013.

KEYWORDS:

Complementary medicine; Doctor–patient communication; Gynecologic oncology; Integrative medicine; Quality of life

PMID:
24140221
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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