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Support Care Cancer. 2004 May;12(5):312-8. Epub 2004 Feb 6.

Use of complementary and alternative therapies: a national multicentre study of oncology health professionals in Norway.

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1
Department of Oncology, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, 0310, Oslo, Norway. arnkolst@online.no

Abstract

GOALS OF WORK:

It is well documented that an increasing proportion of cancer patients today use complementary and alternative medicine, mostly alongside conventional therapies. This study investigates the use of complementary and alternative medicine among oncology health workers and the reported effects.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

In June 2002, we conducted a national multicentre survey including 828 Norwegian oncologists, nurses, clerks and therapeutic radiographers. The response rate was 61.5%.

MAIN RESULTS:

We found that females were more often users of both complementary and alternative methods than males (39% versus 15% and 47% versus 17%) and that few oncologists had tried such treatments compared to nurses, therapeutic radiographers and clerks (20/12% versus 50/40%, 41/33%,and 31/50%). Interestingly, the majority of those who had tried unconventional methods reported some or very good effects. Acupuncture, homeopathy, aromatherapy and massage were the most popular therapies. Sub-group analyses including only oncologists showed that female physicians were more often users of both complementary and alternative methods compared to males (33% versus 12%, 25% versus 3%). Moreover, participants below the age of 35 years and Christians more often reported use.

CONCLUSIONS:

This survey demonstrates that significant proportion of oncology health workers in Norway have used non-proven therapies and that most have had a positive experience. Differences in use is highly dependent on gender, profession, age and religion.

PMID:
14767750
DOI:
10.1007/s00520-004-0590-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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