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Cancer Nurs. 2010 May-Jun;33(3):194-200. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e3181c295ac.

Patterns of the use of complementary and alternative medicine in women with metastatic cancer.

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1
Department of Internal Medicine Nursing, Ege University School of Nursing, Bornova, Izmir, Turkey. yasemin.kyildirim@ege.edu.tr

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been widely used in the general population and in patients with cancer. Female sex and advanced cancer are 2 reported factors contributing to CAM use.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to examine the patterns of CAM use among women with metastatic cancer.

METHODS:

A total of 68 women were enrolled into this cross-sectional study. All participants were receiving conventional treatment in a single inpatient oncology center. Data were collected from the women through a face-to-face interview guided by a questionnaire. On the basis of women's responses, all participants were divided into 2 groups: CAM users and nonusers.

RESULTS:

The 2 cancers most frequently diagnosed in these women were gastrointestinal cancer (36.8%) and breast cancer (33.8%). Of 68 women, 40 (58.8%) reported the use of at least 1 type of CAM therapy after the diagnosis of cancer. There were no significant differences in the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics between CAM users and nonusers (P > .05). The most frequently used CAM method was herbal therapy (34.6%) and the second was nutritional supplements (17.9%). A considerable proportion (60.0%) of CAM users had not discussed their CAM use with their physicians or nurses. Four (10%) patients reported an adverse effect due to CAM use.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings indicate that Turkish women with metastatic cancer seek to use CAM, with a small minority being at risk of potential adverse effects of certain CAM products.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:

Because of the high prevalence of CAM therapies among women with metastatic cancer, oncology specialists and nurses should increase their knowledge about CAM therapies. Nurses are in a position to provide knowledge and education about CAM therapies and to develop protocols and guidelines about CAM use for patients with cancer.

PMID:
20357652
DOI:
10.1097/NCC.0b013e3181c295ac
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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